Wednesday, 29 July 2015

The blue skies this morning lasted a little longer than yesterday, variable cloud cover approached from 11:00hrs, but the wind had dropped considerably, making it feel more pleasant.

Early morning ROBIN

I had a circuit of Migrant Alley first thing, but it provided little of note, just the normal ROOKS, JACKDAWS, CARRION CROWS, STARLINGS, and WOODPIGEONS on the paddocks and pasture, along with a few LINNETS and GOLDFINCHES. Passing the Greenhouse Copse I noted the WHITETHROAT family, plus BLACKCAP, CHIFFCHAFF, and a family of 4 GREEN WOODPECKERS.

I spent over 90 minutes watching the skies, where I saw at least 3 different BUZZARDS, had multiple sightings of a pair of SPARROWHAWKS, and watched the antics of KESTREL family at the Greenhouse Grounds. Also of note, over 50 CANADA GEESE flew over, as did a GREY HERON, and a MISTLETHRUSH, a few HERRING GULLS that flew past at varying heights, plus a LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL was also seen. SWIFTS were moving through in small numbers too.

Canada Goose

After my sky watch, I made my way over to the Scrubby Woods, via the Small Holding and Wet Woods, finding some of the bird species that weren't on yesterdays full patch walk, like TREECREEPER, COAL TIT, and PHEASANT. At the Scrubby Woods I spent much of the time chasing Butterflies and Dragonflies, I noted 13 species of Butterfly, those being, Large, Small and Green Veined Whites, Red Admiral, Peacock, Comma, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Large and Small Skippers, Holly Blue, Speckled Wood and Small Tortoiseshell. As for the Dragonflies, just 2 species were seen, Southern Hawker and Brown Hawker, but I did at least get a photo of the Brown Hawker today  :-)

I checked the lakes on the way home, where 21 Canada Geese were loafing around on the main lake, along with 4 MALLARDS, 6 MOORHENS and a lone female MANDARIN DUCK.

I found two different Brown Hawkers, both quite tatty, and both very flighty, only allowing a couple of shots to be taken.

When this species settles, I take what ever shots and angles I can get!

They don't hang about for long!

Comma Butterfly

Holly Blue Butterfly

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

A clear blue sky this morning soon clouded over, and with the continued strong, westerly wind, it felt cool out.

I made the 10th and final full patch walk of the month this morning, my 70th in all so far this year, my aim, as in the past 13 years, is to carry out 120 full patch walks a year - ten a month  :-).  Anyway, today's walk yielded a rather average bird species tally of 44, but I did at least add a new species to the months list, when a REED BUNTING (64) flew over Migrant Alley, calling as it went. At 64, the months list is now joint with the July totals of 2006 and 2010, and is the 7th best of the 14 years.

Other notables today included flyovers from LESSER BLACK BACKED and HERRING GULL, plus YELLOWHAMMER, SKYLARK and BUZZARD, all f which passed over Migrant Alley. The two KESTREL young were at the Greenhouse Grounds, along with both adults, plus I also watched the WHITETHROAT family there and managed a few a few distant photo's of them.

There were 3 female MANDARIN DUCK on the main lake this morning, as I watched them, a party of 11 SWIFTS came in to drink, I cant recall seeing them take water from here before. The other two small lakes had 6 MALLARDS and 4 MOORHENS between them.

Most of the regular and common species were picked up along my route through the Small Holding, Wet Woods and Scrubby Woods, most from the latter habitat, where mixed feeding flock of LONG TAILED TIT, BLUE TIT, GREAT TIT, GOLDCREST, NUTHATCH, CHIFFCHAFF and CHAFFINCH were seen. Species not found today, but were out there somewhere, included Coal Tit, Treecreeper, Pheasant and Sparrowhawk.

Two of the Whitethroat family at the Greenhouse Grounds, of which there are 3.

It wasn't really a day for macro photo's given the wind and cloud, but I snapped this Speckled Wood Butterfly, a species that has been much scarcer here this year than in previous years