Late House Martins
I was walking out from my office near the east side of the Exe estuary today, when I noticed a House Martin wheeling around feeding on late insects. I came to a halt and watched the rooftops for a few minutes, and realised there were four of them! I must admit that although we have endured cold north-easterly winds for the past few days, I wasn't at all surprised. I have had them in this locality in November for the last few years, the latest being about 24th November! There are a lot of large buildings on my complex, and I would imagine that these give off a fair amount of heat, thus attracting what insect life is left around. (Some of my colleagues would argue that the amount of bull---t emanating from these buildings would probably draw in the entire insect population of the northern hemisphere!). Still, they were a pleasure to see, and I reckon they could hang around for a little while longer.
Although working for the whole day, I was lucky to hear a couple of Great Spotted Woodpeckers back in Exmouth this afternoon too. We seem to have a healthy population of Great Spotted and Green Woodpeckers in our area, and I have very occasionally seen their smaller cousin, the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, within a couple of hundred yards of my house. Other notable species seen from my house or garden include White Stork, Red Kite, Little Egret, Waxwings, Black Redstart, Hobby and Peregrine, so it pays to keep looking out, even though I live in Exmouth's suburbia. I now keep a list of bird species seen within Exmouth Parish Boundary, and this year I have added Stone Curlew, Cattle Egret, Short-eared Owl and Lapland Bunting to that list amongst others, so one can only imagine what else will turn up!