Another good day on the patch this morning, at least, as far as migrants are concerned. I checked the tall hedge at Migrant Alley and found three REED WARBLERS! They are not rare birds, but they are only seen on my patch on migration - and then not every year, so its exciting for me to find them!
I left the hedge and walked along the weedy edge of the maize crop, where a few SKYLARK, LINNET and PIED WAGTAIL busied themselves, but a bird showing familiar features was just ahead of me, a quick look through my bins confirmed a SEDGE WARBLER, another scarce migrant on my patch, I tried to get near enough for a photo, but only partially succeeded, but whilst doing so a fourth Reed Warbler alighted on the top of the maize! I wondered how many warblers were actually hidden in the maize field, and never seen by me.
After walking round the College grounds, and the associated stream, picking up the more usual species, I walked back through Migrant Alley, where all was quiet, it seems that the most productive part of the day is the first hour after dawn. I say quiet but overhead SWALLOWS and HOUSE MARTINS were busy feeding, and it was in one of their mass flyovers that I spied with them a new species for the month - a SAND MARTIN, then almost immediately two YELLOW WAGTAILS followed, giving thier distinctive calls as they went over, a good migrant day indeed!
The second half of my walk didn't live up to yesterday, far fewer birds were in the scrubby area by the lake, the Lesser Whitethroat and Garden Warbler were not found. In all I recorded 49 species this morning, but four of those weren't seen yesterday, making a two day total of 56, not bad for my patch.
So the months list moves on to 65, but thats still 5 behind Augusts record total of 70, set last year, and it'll be difficult add more species, the species that were on last August list that are missing this year are :- Cormorant, a possible for this month. Peregrine, not seen since the local rag anounced that the pair on the the tower had a nest on it! Barn Owl, no chance this year. Common tern, an outside chance. Kingfisher, another possible along with the Grey Wagtail. However, I have got Marsh Tit this year that I didn't last August.
(If you can follow all that then you doing well!)
Photo's today - not very clear again, but you can make out the WILLOW WARBLER, which was at the College again this morning.
And the Sedge Warbler, sitting on the Maize.