“The Stats” (8pm on 23rd Nov)

This Week: Totals vs last week vs same week 2020
Total No. of Species  57  ↑3   ↑3
Total No. of Birds  1,637  ↓1,288  ↓2,860


To November 23rd 2021 vs 2021
Total No. of Species  98  Equal
Total No. of Birds  68,723  ↑22,483


Northerly winds took over for the penultimate week of the Herts Autumn Garden Vismig Watch bringing much colder air and some frosty but beautiful mornings.  Of course, the challenge in these conditions is to brave the elements so it is not surprising to find records down a bit this week.  For those who did manage to peek out there was some evidence of movement caused by the fall in temperatures.

On the whole another quiet week with

no new additions to the autumn list.  Once again, the Monday (22nd) saw the most records, perhaps reflecting the plummet in temperatures overnight.  A peak count of 118 Fieldfares was recorded along with 51 Redwings.  With them too one Skylark and 4 Meadow PipitsChaffinches peaked at 22 birds while a record of a Yellowhammer and 4 Lesser Redpolls over a St Albans garden was also of note – again indicative of the colder snap.

Bramblings continue to be recorded with another 3 records this week – one a first for a Garston garden, becoming the 70th species on that garden list.  Gulls continue to move early morning and return in the evenings and a count of 83 Common Gulls over a St Albans garden early on 22nd was a high count.

Highlights, again brought on by the cold, were a flock of 60 Golden Plover and 13 Lapwing on 22nd viewed from a Shafford Farm garden.  Both these species get on the move when the ground freezes so there’s hope that other gardens may yet record these birds.  A Barn Owl from a Shafford Farm garden on 20th was followed by a Tawny Owl on 22nd.

The 22nd also saw a Peregrine over a Stevenage garden which the observer believes may be commuting between feeding areas in Stevenage town centre and a traditional breeding site near Hitchin.  His house just happens to be halfway between the two points and perhaps accounts for the regular sightings over his garden.  Peregrines are certainly active at the moment, chasing the growing flocks of birds and possibly exploring new territories for the breeding season.

Looking ahead it’s the final week of the Herts Autumn Garden Vismig Watch! This week last year brought the 99th species in the form of a Shelduck over a Stevenage garden so let’s hope the cold weather throws something new up this week.  Hints of what might come take the form of both a White-fronted Goose and a Pink-footed Goose being recorded in the county this last week, not to mention two Merlins.  If you can brave the cold you might well reap the reward!

As always please add your garden sightings to the Googlesheet here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1q8Xibna0OISTAD5LAcaOC9bX6E2HTHuwXtwojpMzJrw/edit#gid=1901145455