November has been mild but still cold, with temperatures sometimes dropping below zero. The cold conditions have increased the number of chaffinches and coal tits visiting the feeding station, due to lack of naturally available food in the countryside. The local great spotted woodpeckers have made daily visits to the feeding station feasting on peanuts.
Red squirrels are still gathering peanuts and burying them in their hidey holes among the leaves around the feeding station, while being watched by the carrion crows who are eager to pinch an easy meal.
On the loch a good number of duck species were recorded in high numbers. These include; wigeon, goldeneye, mallard and tufted duck. At the end of November a female long–tailed duck was spotted, an unusual sighting for the loch.
Up to five great crested grebes were regular spotted on the loch. Four whooper swans came for a short break and then continued their journey to warmer places.
Flocks of pink footed geese were seen and heard flying over the loch, with some spending the evening on the loch and leaving early morning. Black headed gulls and common gulls are also gathering in large numbers to roost on the loch.
Chris Cachia Zammit