Fringe Box



Birdwatcher’s Diary No.23

Published on: 22 Nov, 2012
Updated on: 22 Nov, 2012

[thethe-image-slider name=”Birdwatcher’s diary 23″]

By Malcolm Fincham

The first  few weeks of November didn’t bring with it much change in the wildlife viewed at Stoke Lake, apart from the arrival of three dabchicks – commonly known as little grebes.

Little grebes at Stoke Lake.

These are the smallest members of our British grebe family, and although a fairly common bird throughout the UK, this was the first I’ve seen at Stoke for over a year, but can now be seen once again most days.

In surrounding areas, regular views of the barn owl in the field beyond Bowers Lock can still be glimpsed. Once again, the shortening daylight hours and the more often than not overcast days have continued to work against me.


However, I did manage my first ‘record shot’ this autumn of a single redwing perched high in a tree on a particularly sunny morning, but will hope to get some much better images to display in the next month or two.

Great spotted woodpecker.

I took advantage of a couple of sunny Sundays by visiting Pulborough Brooks in West Sussex where regular sightings of a lesser spotted woodpecker has been reported during the last few weeks. Unfortunately, on both of my visits, it remained too elusive to photograph. As a conciliation prize were a few nice pictures of a male great spotted woodpecker.

Wigeon at Pulbrough Brooks.

Also now to be seen at the reserve out on the brooks are increasing numbers of wigeon. And with leaves falling around her, the peregrine is now more visible in her favourite tree. At least three barn owls were also on view, just before dusk.

Since my last report, when I mentioned to readers about looking out for possible unusual birds in their gardens, I have had a number of local people asking me about sightings of parrot-like birds on their feeders. These are of course ring-necked parakeets. These birds, originally from the foothills of the Himalayas, are thought to have escaped from captivity back in the late 1960s, which has brought rise to various urban myths. One is that the late rock music guitarist Jimi Hendrix released the original pair [click link to read].

Ring-necked parakeet.

These birds have now established themselves in large numbers on the Surrey/London border and are now starting to take up residence in territories further south, especially during winter months.

I see them most times of the year now in areas near to Sutton Place and also on Whitmoor Common, often just as flyovers, but I did take a few pictures a little while ago beyond Bowers Lock.

Coal tit.

There are also some photos seen here (and in the sliding gallery) of birds I have seen and photographed recently, including coal tit, jay, and mute swan.

As a footnote: I have noticed with some amusement that some of our mainstream and national newspapers have been running stories on predictions of a severe winter ahead. This is something I mentioned here in one of report No.20 back in October. Just goes to show you can read it here first on The Guildford Dragon News! Let’s just hope we’re all wrong.

Share This Post

Responses to Birdwatcher’s Diary No.23

  1. Steve Balchin Reply

    November 26, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Great article as always. Let’s hope the bad weather doesn’t materialise. I shall be looking out for ring-necked parakeets in my garden.

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *