As many are aware we have some birdwatchers who are social members and come and watch from the corner, or watch the bird feeders they have put up beyond the Flying 15 area. We have asked John one of the regulars to let us know what they see. The Terns are nesting on the raft so please give that a good berth (they will let you know if you get to close!). If you want to know more stop and ask.
October proved to be an interesting month with several notable sightings. The majority of summer visitors departed and the last seven Swallows were seen on the 16th. Prior to this the first eight Fieldfares had arrived on the 12th. Fieldfares are a type of thrush and every winter thousands of birds arrive in the UK from their breeding grounds in Scandinavia. Two Pintail were seen on the 1st and a Kittiwake was noted briefly on the 15th, a species that is relatively common on the coast but rare inland. Many members will have seen the Little Egrets which often frequent the lake; they look like a small white heron. Their larger cousin the Great White Egret is far more unusual so a bird present for a few minutes on the morning of the 16th was an excellent sighting. A Black Tern on the 17th was a very late record for the county whilst on the same date a Merlin was also observed. Merlin is a small falcon which breeds on moorland and it is a less than annual visitor to the Hoveringham complex. Whooper Swans are what are known as ‘wild swans’ as opposed to our resident Mute Swans and parties of fifteen and three birds were seen during the month. We have once again set up the feeding station and it didn’t take the birds long to find it. Chaffinches, Reed Buntings, along with Great and Blue Tits are regular visitors and it was particularly pleasing to see up to six Tree Sparrows. Unfortunately several greedy Grey Squirrels also find the seed very much to their liking.