Finally a bit of activity on the feeders again as large finch flocks made their way in to the garden, Greenfinch 20+, Goldfinch 15+, Chaffinch 15+ all feeding busily on Sunflower Hearts and blended Peanuts. Blue & Great Tits seem to be low on numbers at the moment and well down on last year although it's still early and I'm expecting numbers to rise. Robin, Wren and Dunnock are occasional visitors and our regular visiting male Pheasant is using the squirrel guard to stand on so he can get to the hanging bird feeders, he does empty them pretty quickly but i can't knock him for ingenuity. A Pied Wagtail is an occasional fly over and my first garden sighting this year of Starling as 3 flew low over heading East. Blackbird numbers are slowly rising with at least 3 Males feeding through the hedgerows nearby. Redwing migration was underway by the time i returned from Turkey and almost every night their contact calls ( 'seep' ) could be heard overhead as they passed over. Corvid numbers have continued to rise with Carrion Crow, Rook and Jackdaw all busy feeding in the surrounding fields. The last week of October saw at least 9 Red Kites and 4 Buzzards circling over the cottage.
Both Tawny and Little Owls have been seen and heard regularly throughout October. Little Owl sightings both at home and Frieth have been regular with a pair sat together in a farm shed at the top of Shogmoor Lane, Frieth. Tawny Owls have also been seen on a regular basis with sightings at home, Shogmoor Lane and also Bovingdon Green, a Tawny was also heard calling at 2pm at Kingwood, Stoke Row. A Barn Owl was heard hissing from a nearby field early evening through the second week of October and again towards the end of the month, on one occasion two were heard but still not seen.
October saw the start of frequent Deer sightings around the cottage with small groups of 5/6 moving through the gardens and out in to the fields, this culminated with a magnificent Fallow Stag outside the living room window. I managed to film this individual as he slowly walked passed the window and hopefully will have the film on here soon. The third week of October saw a female Fallow deer and her fawn sleeping in the paddock next to the cottage, under the cover of the treeline the pair settled down to sleep returning three nights running. More movement from Fallow Deer herds continued through the month with large herds crossing the main Hambleden Road near Luxters Farm and smaller herds at the top of Shogmoor Lane near Frieth. All herds contained good numbers of young Deer.