“The Stats” (8pm on 2nd Nov)

This Week: Totals vs Last Week vs Same Week 2020
Total No. of Species  61  ↓ 5  ↓ 3
Total No. of Birds  6,758  ↑ 2,869  ↑ 3,524


To November 2nd 2021 vs 2020
Total No. Species  96   ↓ 2
Total No. of Birds  53,626   ↑ 16,741

For the most part of this week rain stopped play along with often strong, south-westerly winds.  The less than conducive vismig conditions and undoubtedly consequently reduced coverage meant that no new species were added to the autumn total this week.  However, as the week drew to a close, November dawned bright and clear and while bringing a touch of frost also brought a change in wind direction.

The more northerly element to the wind was immediately apparent as one of autumn’s great spectacles finally arrived: the mass movement of Woodpigeons!  Freed from their over-weight standard-drabness, Woodpigeons, (most likely birds entering the country from the Continent), are a sight to see as they fly high, en masse and usually directly, south-west.  With the early morning sun catching their underbellies they are a truly beautiful phenomenon as wave after wave appears, often in groups of over 100 birds and with them groups of Stock Doves.

The Woodpigeon movement is likely to continue

into the new week, but 2nd Nov saw a total of 3,050 birds recorded.  With them came a renewed trickle of Chaffinches with occasional Brambling, Siskins, Linnets and RedpollsPied Wagtails, Skylarks and Meadow Pipits are still on the move too but in reduced numbers and amongst these remains a chance of the odd Yellowhammer or Reed Bunting.

Aside from the Woodpigeon influx, highlights were limited to Peregrines over a couple of St Albans gardens – one flying low with Chaffinches, perhaps hoping for a snack on the move!  A Grey Heron over a Stevenage garden was also the first for the autumn for that garden as was a Bullfinch over a Shafford Farm garden.

Remarkably Fieldfares are still awaited and are perhaps the one certain additional species yet to be added to the autumn list.  The question remains: what other three or more new species could yet be added to the autumn list to take it to 100?  There’s plenty to choose from – last year the following species made it on to the autumn list and have yet to be recorded this year: Gannet, Great White Egret, Pink-footed Goose, Shelduck, Merlin, Grey Partridge, Caspian Gull, Short-eared Owl, Tree Pipit, Yellow-browed Warbler, Firecrest and of course, Fieldfare.  While some of these species are less likely, not least Tree Pipit, others are still quite possible such as Firecrest.

Already this autumn, 9 species have been recorded that did not feature last year so there may still be some surprises in store.  Ring Ouzels are still possible as they make their way south so check those berry bushes regularly – what appears to be the regular Blackbird may be a northern visitor!  Another bird that can turn up anywhere at this time of year is the Black Redstart.  While they will happily hop down into gardens to feed it’s worth checking the urban equivalent of cliffs: rooftops!

And finally, wrap up warm – autumn garden vismig just got hardcore!!

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