A trip outside the area to Geltsdale RSPB reserve was very interesting. The trees were in full autumn colour and looked their brilliant best. The main interest was the huge numbers of fieldfares (one flock was over 1000), and smaller numbers of redwings and bramblings. A woodcock was flushed and there was a good number of long-tailed tits. It was a thoroughly enjoyable trip.
A visit to Heighley Gate garden centre should not produce any wildlife quandries. But two sparrows feeding outside the cafe looked as though they were hybrids between tree and house sparrows. They exhibited features of both species; little black bib, greyish cap, pale cheeks etc.
A quiet walk around Branton Ponds on Sunday produced 5 whooper swans, 1 male pochard, good numbers tufted ducks, goldeneye and mallards. There were small numbers of goldcrests, long-tailed tits and siskins. No sign of the kingfisher