Bird report for October 2011
I don't have to tell you how beautiful the park is at this time of year. Autumn foliage with the evergreens contrasting with the reds, browns and golds is breathtaking.
The late summer birds feeding so busily at the start of October are now migrating to winter homes, but as they disappear other birds arrive. In the park there are many 'commuters' both seasonal and daily. The Sparrowhawks fly in to feed on the numerous Doves and small Pigeons that have made the park their home. The many evergreen Holm Oaks (Quercus Ilex), heavy with acorns, also attract the Jays that fly in from the college grounds across the road. It is noticeable that the numbers of smaller birds are also boosted as they fly in to feed on the seasonal berries and drupes. The annual 'Viking' invasion should start soon with birds flying in from Scandinavia to avoid the harsher weather in those areas, with Thrushes such as Redwings and Fieldfares being most prominent. The rooks are beginning to return to their tree-top nests, they breed and nest in the park but fly out daily to feed on the farmers fields.
Yew trees, although poisonous to humans, are an important food source in the autumn, both for birds and squirrels. If you look under the tree and see Yew pips, squirrels have been feeding, as they discard the toxic seeds after eating the red fruits, however birds will eat the whole fruit, seed and all, with their digestive system able to pass the seeds later with no ill effects.
Wrap up well in the colder weather and many thanks for your help with sightings in the park.
October bird sightings.
Mallard, Sparrowhawk, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Feral Dove, Stock Dove, Wood-pigeon, Collared Dove, Green Woodpecker, Greater-Spotted Woodpecker, House-Martin, Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, Spotted Flycatcher, Long-tailed Tit, Bluetit, Great Tit, Nuthatch, Tree-Creeper, Jay, Magpie, Rook, Carrion Crow, Starling, Chaffinch, Greenfinch.