Friday, 29 July 2016

A grey, warm and humid morning with bits of drizzle from time to time, brightening up later in the day.

The last two days have not produced much to blog about on my patch, apart from another pair of WHIMBREL that flew over Migrant Alley on Wednesday morning.

Today I carried out the 10th and final 'full patch walk' for July, which was amazingly quiet, birdwise, great difficulty was had to even reach the modest day count of 45 species. A fortunate encounter with the first mixed feeding flock of the Autumn, in the scrubby Woods area, gave me most of what was seen there, with LONG TAILED TIT, GREAT TIT, BLUE TIT, NUTHATCH, GOLDCREST, CHIFFCHAFF, BLACKCAP, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER and CHAFFINCH all tagging along together. I also saw the years first young BULLFINCH, the 41st species to be confirmed as successfully bred on my patch, this is probably the last I will confirm as such, but Little Owl and Tawny Owl will go down as probably bred, making for a breeding species list of 43, two less than last year and and 5 less than 2014, actual numbers of those species that breed are falling here too, that's habitat destruction at work  :-(

BUZZARD, SPARROWHAWK and KESTREL appeared for the raptor species, while HERRING GULL and LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL represented the Gulls. A flyover GREY HERON and a SWIFT were the only noteworthy species to do so.

Still not much luck on the photographic front, just another Beautiful Demoiselle shot to show, plus a Lapwing that I photographed at Bough Beech Reservoir yesterday afternoon, where it was very queit also!


Beautiful Demoiselle


Dozing Lapwing

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

A mostly cloudy day today, with a few bright or sunny spells. Feeling warm in light winds.

I undertook another full patch walk this morning, finding a good tally of 47 bird species, once again though, as in the last few patch visits, Long Tailed Tit was not on the days list, they are very elusive this month!

After yesterdays exiting flyover of the years first Whimbrel, I wasn't expecting anything more to set my pulse racing today, but a careful look along the nettle/bramble bed beneath the Alder trees that form the border of Migrant Alley and the Greenhouse Grounds, there was indeed something to get excited about, a GRASSHOPPER WARBLER (95,64) no less! This is a real rare bird to visit my patch, just the second record of one in the 15 years of recording, the first being back in September 2011, what a brilliant little Warbler to find!!

After that little find, the rest of the visit felt rather mundane, but all the regular species turned up, apart from Pheasant, the already mentioned Long Tailed Tit and the Lesser Whitethroat that could have been expected to show.

Three House Martins flew over the scrubby Woods, a scarce visitor nowadays, SWIFTS were also seen flying through, but not much else went over apart from a few HERRING GULLS. The KESTREL pair were seen with at least one of their offspring over various parts of my patch, BUZZARD and SPARROWHAWK were also seen.

Best of the rest were.........MISTLETHRUSH, SONGTHRUSH, STOCK DOVE, TREECREEPER, NUTHATCH, BULLFINCH, GOLDCREST, COAL TIT, GREEN WOODPECKER, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, BLACKCAP, COMMON WHITETHROAT, CHIFFCHAFF, SKYLARK, LINNET, loads of SWALLOWS and a GREY HERON that was fishing on the main lake.