Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Another quite cool morning with a chilly breeze, but at times some sunshine broke through, helping to lift the temperature.

There was a bit more of interest about for todays visit, I again found the immature GREY WAGTAIL at it's favoured spot in the Greenhouse Grounds, where at least 4 WHITETHROAT were also seen, plus the female KESTREL was perched on the greenhouse roof. A family of BULLFINCH were a nice find, they have done well here this year  :-)

A circuit of the paddocks and pasture at Migrant Alley was mostly very quiet again, but a YELLOW WAGTAIL dropped in to feed among the horses for a short while, and the Wooded Headland had a LITTLE OWL fly out from it, another Little Owl was seen in the old gnarled Walnut Tree over in the Ashes lane Field later in the walk. The drainage ditch that runs the length of the field had a couple more Whitethroat and a family of DUNNOCKS in it, while overhead a passing flock of HOUSE MARTIN stayed for a few minutes to feed around a lone Oak Tree, allowing me to pick out a SAND MARTIN among them.

Immature Dunnock at the Ashes lane drainage ditch

My find of the day was over at the Small Holding area, where in amongst a moderate sized feeding flock, which contained minimum counts of ; 6 CHAFFINCH, 2 NUTHATCH, 2 TREECREEPER, 5 GREAT TITS, 8 BLUE TITS, 6 LONG TAILED TITS, 2 GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERS, a JAY and 4 ROBINS, were also 3 SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS (75) two were Immature birds, probably the family I saw last month, they have probably been hiding just off patch at the adjacent golf course since that sighting. Nice to find them for the months list though, which at 75 species, has now reached the joint second best August tally, joint with 2011, but still 3 behind the record tally set in 2010, with a bit of luck I could reach that total again  :-)

Over in the Woods and lake area it was only slightly busier than yesterday, with BLACKCAP, CHIFFCHAFF and another Whitethroat seen, the lakes had 9 CANADA GEESE visit, but nothing more had joined the regular species there.

On the walk home I stopped off at the edge of the Wet Woods to try and find some Dragonflies, there were a few about, with Southern and Migrant Hawkers being seen, as well as Common and Ruddy Darter, whilst there I saw SPARROWHAWK and 3 BUZZARD up soaring together.

Common Buzzard

I tried to get some Migrant Hawker shots, and although I did manage a few, they never quite sat right, or were to high up, or the sun went in, or the wind blew them around, .................things are never straight forward with this photography lark!




Male Migrant Hawker






Monday, 18 August 2014

This morning felt much cooler than of late, the wind making it feel even more so, quite a shock to the system!

My patch visit today was a real back down to earth job after all the excitement of recent visits, with barely a bird seen during my walk around Migrant Alley, only the SWALLOWS were present, I found it difficult to find even the likes of CHAFFINCH, GREAT TIT and ROOK! Where did all the birds go???

The immature GREY WAGTAIL was seen at the Greenhouse Grounds again, plus a couple of WHITETHROAT, the only migrant there was one of the workers out with a big black bag and a litter picker....at 6:30am!

I struggled on round, completing a full patch walk, and recorded a woeful 37 species, most of those just single birds, like the BLACKCAP, NUTHATCH, GOLDCREST, JAY and CHIFFCHAFF, ironically, I did see a troop of LONG TAILED TITS this morning, only the second record this month!  The fishermen had left the lake area, but it will take time to settle down again here, only a GREY HERON had arrived to join the MUTE SWAN family, the COOT pair, 4 MALLARDS and around a dozen MOORHENS.

I made another trip out around Migrant Alley around 11:00hrs, but again little was seen, the Rooks had turned up though, plus the KESTREL pair had returned to the greenhouse roof. A spot of Sky watching wasn't too bad, a couple of BUZZARDS, a SPARROWHAWK and a HOBBY made it a four raptor species day. HOUSE MARTINS were few, with a couple of flocks going over, both containing around 20-30 birds, the last bird for my list today was a flyover CORMORANT, but even with the afternoon additions the day list only reached 44 species, not good at all for an eight hour visit  :-(

With the sun only out for short periods, plus the cool temperatures, my Dragonfly hunting was not particularly successful either, I only saw a couple of Common Darters, a single Ruddy Darter, a single Southern Hawker and about 6 Migrant Hawkers that refused to settle anywhere. I got just a single photo, that being of the Southern Hawker!