On the 9th, I was standing at the 'grey box' looking across the diggings, when a BRENT GOOSE flew in from the West and landed on the water on the Northern side of the workings. It swam around for about five minutes and then flew off to the West, returning to the same spot a few minutes later, where it started to preen. This was the first BRENT GOOSE that I had seen here and on checking the records was the first seen here for about ten years. I managed two photos of the bird, which were okay for record shots and nothing else.
At the bottom of my garden, my neighbour has two mature Rowan trees, which up to the 17th was laden with berries. In previous years they would last until early January and were eaten mainly by MISTLE THRUSH, REDWING and FIELDFARE. This year however has been completely different in that BLACKBIRDS have stripped the trees bare. I noticed that they were visiting the trees on a daily basis to eat the berries throughout the previous week. On the 16th, I counted twelve of them eating at the same time and by the end of the day the berries had all gone. In all my previous years of living here, this is the first time that the BLACKBIRDS have moved in early and in numbers to take advantage of this food source.
As Tuesday 30th was sunny with little wind, it was off to Keyhaven/Pennington for the day. DARTFORD WARBLERS were out in force, six being seen between Keyhaven and the jetty, the most that I have ever seen. A pair of EIDER were offshore, with the male looking very dapper in his white/black plumage. A dozen RED BREASTED MERGANSER were also offshore with one pair venturing closer to the seawall. I was amazed to see a SANDWICH TERN, in adult winter plumage, fly close by the footpath next to the sea heading towards Hurst Castle. I suppose there are a few who haven't migrated yet. I managed to take a record shot of the bird, which I posted on 'Hampshire Birds'. Throughout the month, I have seen a steady increase in duck numbers at Moor Green Lakes, with a big increase in WIGEON over the last week and I look forward to the arrival of the first GOOSANDER which hopefully won't be too long.