The last day of the month, and I was still in need of 3 new bird species just to match the record July total of 69, set last year. Grey Wagtail, Buzzard and Peregrine were all seen last month, but not this, and Willow Warblers bred on my patch for the first time this year, and should have been on the July list. So with these target species in mind, I set of to work.
It was very sticky and humid as I set off along Ashes Lane, and nothing was really showing itself, a couple of LINNETS on the telephone line above the hedgerow, and some SWALLOWS, 15 - 20 were over the nearby stable. Migrant alley had 28 ROOKS, 30 - 40 STARLINGS, around 20 or so PIED WAGTAILS and 4 HOUSE MARTINS. A GOLDCREST was singing in the college grounds, as were 2 COAL TITS, but none of the hoped for species were seen this morning.
A trip to the lake and the adjacent scrub this afternoon was hard work, it was so humid I was sweating just sitting in the shade! I thought I should have been rewarded by my efforts but no, only the sound of 2 ''purring'' TURTLE DOVES'' coming from the scrub, along with a family party of BULLFINCH'S and 1 BLACKCAP. I spent some time around the large buddlea bushes and found 4 Peacock, 3 Red Admiral, 2 Large White and a Green Veined White, with lots of Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns.
I moved on to Migrant alley via the tree nursery, while I walked through the latter, 12 CANADA GEESE flew over, a LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL and 3 HERRING GULLS did the same, and I had my first sighting of a COMMON WHITETHROAT since the 20th.
Once at Migrant Alley, I sat on my seat and watched for the Peregrine and maybe a Buzzard, alas neither showed, but a lone LAPWING went over, with large gaps in it's wings, obviously in moult. Swifts were seen in two groups of 4. A small passerine flew low past me and dropped deep into the Maize crop, it looked like a Sedge warbler, would of been a new species for the year, but I couldn't confirm its ID, and it didn't come back out! So I didn't get any new species for the month. 66 is still the second highest July total though, and the combined July total now stands at 83. The average number of species seen in july is 62.5.
Red Admiral on Buddlea