I was eager to get out this morning, and was up at 05:00hrs, a quick look at the weather forecast, said no rain till the afternoon - great, I was out by 05:45.
I was 5mins out and it started raining! I only had a fleece to keep the rain off, bloody weather presenters if I did my job like they do theirs I'd be sacked! Oh well, I carried on with my walk and was rewarded with a total of 47 species, not as good as recent visits, but more realistic.
The rain continued for the first 90 minutes, but it was made more bearable by the sighting of my first WHIMBREL (102) of the year - two in fact! They were seen flying over as I left the tree nursery to go to Migrant Alley, I suppose the low cloud and rain brought them down low enough to be visible. I am well pleased with seeing this species, as it is only the 3rd year that they have been recorded on my patch. The year total is now 4 off the record tally of last year, can I beat it?
Apart from that very exciting species, the rest of the list was the usual mix. It was nice to see a huge flock of both CANADA and GREYLAG GEESE flyover Migrant Alley though, some 87 were counted, mostly Greylags. Very few summer migrants were noted, just one each of CHIFFCHAFF, BLACKCAP, and COMMON WHITETHROAT, plus TURTLE DOVES were seen and heard. The only Raptor species seen was the SPARROWHAWK, one flew over, and the juv. was again heard calling for food in the wet woods.
back out early again tomorrow morning, still 4 more species to find this month to equal the July record, not looking like i'll do it now though.
Photographic opportunities were limited in the rain this morning, and when it cleared the wind picked picked up. but here's what I got.
Below is a SKYLARK that was sitting on the earth works at Migrant Alley
The Sparrowhawk that flew over during a ''brighter'' interlude late morning.
A Common Blue Butterfly. Unfortunately it had a chunk missing fromits wing tip.