There was more excitement at Migrant Alley today. After having seen a YELLOW WAGTAIL fly over early this morning, I was eager to finish work and get back round the fields. At 13:15 I was there and a quick scan of the fence opposite me, some 100m away I could pick out three small birds on the posts. I slowly walked up and viewed them every 10m or so, they eventually were viewed close enough to ID 2 WHINCHAT, and a STONECHAT (95) Hurrah I've found one at last! It's always a good feeling to get a new species for the year.
I walked home for lunch and my camera, and was back by 14:00. I quickly found the ''chats'' but it was difficult getting close enough for a pic. now the Maize gives me no cover. I spent the next 2 and a half hours scouring the sky, paddocks and stubbles. The latter was full of LINNET, and MEADOW PIPIT a mixed flock of some 50 birds. Overhead a KESTREL was seen to dive down amongst them, sending everything up. Whilst I was scanning the rooftops of the stables, I noticed some large birds soaring in the distance - 2 BUZZARDS, they moved closer and I was able to see they were Common Buzzards, at one point 2 other smaller Raptors were seen in the same binocular view ! One was a probable SPARROWHAWK the other a probable HOBBY, but views were brief, and I was following the Buzzards more than those two.
Other flyovers included 2 CORMORANT, a few SWALLOWS and HOUSE MARTINS, as well as at least 6 more Yellow Wagtail, 3 singles and a trio. Quite an afternnon at Migrant Alley.
I looked back at my records for stonechat and they are few, much fewer then Whinchat. Stonechats have been recorded in 4 years out of the 7. see below.
2002 - 1 on 20th July
2006 - 1 on 28th & 29th Oct
2007 - One on 16th, 20th, and 30th Sept. and 1 on the 5th and 6th Oct. With 2 seen on the 7th
2008 - 1 Today!