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WEATHER: a bright day with plenty of sunshine, no wind. Much cooler than of late. Temp 8 -10C

There were three elements to my birding today and all of them were short but sweet. I never went for my usual walk into Yeo Valley as I had a lot work to do in the office. So, element number one was a garden-watch, just before I went for my exercise walk through the village (element two).

My usual suspects arrived in regular intervals at my feeders, the Great Spotted Woodpecker returned for its second day. A new species in the garden today was House Sparrow, a group of four arrived and stole some seed from off the top of the fence where I left them. House Sparrows haven’t been in my garden since last January!!

this cheeky chappie was the first House Sparrow in my garden this autumn

My walk through the village constitutes the second part of my birding day, it takes me 26 minutes to walk 1.77 miles, I have been trying to walk the first mile in 15 minutes but haven’t achieved that yet, I was close, with a time of 15 mins and 12 seconds, the fastest yet. During the walk I saw a large flock of Common Starlings in the trees around the village green, they were all murmuring in the sunshine, quite noisy. I also saw House Sparrow, Collared Dove, Herring Gulls, Jackdaws, Rooks and Crows.

some Herring and Lesser BB Gulls at Sutton Bingham today

By mid-afternoon I was going stir crazy in the flat so Dawn and I went out to Sutton Bingham we arrived at 2:30pm. A cold breeze made you feel clever that you had wrapped up warmly, we parked in the car park by the causeway and walked into the small church yard. I was hoping for a species of crest, Firecrest to be precise, but nothing stirred or called.

We walked along the shore of the southern arm listing, Great Crested Grebe, Great Cormorant, Black-headed and Herring Gull and lots of corvids in the fields. Back at the causeway I stood and scoped the gulls for 30 minutes whilst Dawn drove into town to get a few things from the supermarket.

the southern arm of the reservoir

I added Moorhen, Mallard, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Pied Wagtail, Canada Goose, Eurasian Wigeon (10), Redwing and Fieldfare to the day list. I started to count the huge number of Black-headed Gulls that were present. I got up 440 when a new flock dropped in amongst them, the new flock probably doubled the existing number but I never restarted my count. A good estimate was 900 birds. Herring Gulls were much fewer and Lesser Black-backed Gulls were only 8.

view from the causeway

the local teenagers playing on their dingy

Dawn came back around 3:30pm I was glad to get back into the car, one day I will find a good bird at Sutton Bingham!!