Nature Notes – November 2022

by Andy Johnson

Tuesday 18 Oct. began sunny but by mid-afternoon the easterly wind and grey clouds brought a huge migration of red-wings and blackbirds from Scandinavia. By Wed. morning tens of thousands of birds crossed the east coast to disperse inland. In Scruton, new blackbirds squabbled with resident birds before dispersing to feed in hawthorn hedges.

The autumn migration of geese, wildfowl, swans, starlings and wood pigeons from Western Europe includes some with bird flu. This has already decimated seabird colonies and local poultry farmers are worried as the latest mutation of the virus is more virulent.

With the failure of Scandinavian rowan berries, waxwings may appear here soon. Anyone with cotoneasters or rowan trees, look out for them and also mistle thrushes which guard trees with berries and violently see off competitors.

There were 6 grey partridges in John Stubbs’ garden and little ‘Elgie’, the blue tit, has returned for a fourth year to roost in Richard & Jane Meeres’ porch!