Shorter days and falling temperatures force birds to spend more time foraging and less time vocalising, so it’s a relatively quiet period for sound-recording (but see below).
In Rutland, my most notable sightings during the past fortnight have included leucistic male Red-crested Pochard, Red-throated Diver (rare here), Slavonian and 2 Black-necked Grebes, the long-staying escaped Bufflehead, the largest flock of Greenfinches (90+) I’ve seen for some time, 2 Whooper Swans, and a Hawfinch yesterday at Leighfield well away from more traditional local sites.
Whilst visiting family in Oxford we visited Harcourt Arboretum on 10th to look at the Peacocks. We saw at least three males and a female with three juveniles, but their credentials as self-sustaining seemed unconvincing.
The undoubted highlight of the period was a visit to Suffolk on 13th. Following advice from Peter Kennerley I arrived at Dunwich at dawn, and by the time I had walked to Walberswick had already seen 3 Great White Egrets, 2 Bitterns and a Short-eared Owl amongst other things. Better still, I had the place to myself along with the Eastern Yellow Wagtail which was vocal (recordings on xc) and gave excellent views – the first I’ve seen since the ‘split’. Later that morning I also sound-recorded Bearded Tits at Walberswick followed by Firecrest (which I wasn’t really expecting) and Dartford Warbler at Dunwich Heath.