A very short week at Winkworth for me as I was up at our sister property, Claremont Landscape Garden, on Monday providing gardener cover and carrying out a bird survey.
I returned to Winkworth on Tuesday to find a female Pochard on Rowe's Flashe Lake - my first one here of this second winter period.
There were also 23 Canada Geese on the lake, the highest number I have seen here to date.
Later in the morning I was called over to the tearoom to deal with a bird that was sat on the floor and not moving. Expecting a Blackbird or Robin or something similarly familiar, I was surprised to walk through the door and see it was a Nuthatch! It was clearly stunned from either flying into a window or had had a lucky escape from a cat perhaps, and let me pick it up with no struggle.
It looked in good physical condition so I gently introduced it to the trunk of a nearby oak tree which it clung on to of its own accord and, in time, began to climb up out of reach as it regained its senses.
Never a dull moment in this job!
On Monday afternoon I heard the loud and unmistakeable call of Crossbill and just caught sight of two flying low over the trees near the kiosk. Judging by the calls though there were quite a few more that I didn't see.
On Wednesday morning there was a Firecrest calling by the boathouse, while at least two Brambling were flying around/over the lower arboretum, calling.
Just before dusk on Wednesday there was a Kingfisher down at Rowe's Flashe Lake and a single Reed Bunting flew west.
November is the month when Woodpigeons form into huge flocks and roam in search of suitable feeding areas. I filmed this short clip on Tuesday morning in Rowe's Flashe Meadow and it shows part of a movement of over a thousand Woodpigeons that flew south first thing. Sadly my phone didn't really pick it up but I can tell you that the sound of that many wings is quite something!
Note the Siskins calling in the background - there were at least forty flying around in a tight flock while I was filming this.
Other flyover bits of note included a Red Kite north, mobbed by Rooks, and over a hundred Fieldfares south in small groups on Tuesday.