Sunday, 30 August 2009

A fantastic mornings walk round my patch today! Most of the excitement centered around Migrant Alley, as is expected at this time of year, as I walked up to the tall hedge, I heard a LITTLE OWL call from the small wood, then I noticed two birds in the bare branches at the end of the hedge, a quick scan, and I could see they were REED BUNTINGS, not a species I was entirely expecting, as they are a scarce bird here, but what a good bird to bring up the 70th species this month, and so equalling the August record. As I took some pics of them, my phone rang, it was the Oxonhoath birder who watches the area north of my patch, he was gloating about the fact he had got 3 Whinchat and a Wheatear on his patch, our conversation was cut short as I could hear ( with my free ear!) a REED WARBLER further up the tall hedge, as I scoured the branches I not only found a Reed Warbler but also a SEDGE WARBLER, great stuff!

After getting my fill of the Warblers, I walked the weedy edge of the maize crop, sending up LINNETS and SKYLARKS as expected, but then two small birds flew up onto the maize stalks, WHINCHATS! This was some morning I was having, but the migrant birds hadn't finished yet, two YELLOW WAGTAILS were feeding in the paddocks and then I found a WHEATEAR on the fenceline, this is by far the best ''fall'' of migrant birds I have encountered on my patch.

I dragged myself away to go round the college grounds, and was pleased to see a KINGFISHER fly up the stream, and also two SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS. Whilst walking the streamside, I spied a fox with a cat, they were actually playing with each other! The cat would chase the foxes 'brush', then the fox would stalk the cat, and a chase would ensue, quite a fascinating piece of interaction between a wild and domestic animal.

Walking back through migrant alley, I again watched the Migrant species, and also saw a HOBBY and KESTREL go over., before leaving for the second part of my walk. As I had spent so much time around migrant alley, It wasn't until 09:30 that I reached the lake area, and it had turned warm and humid, most of the birds had gone to cover again, and I searched in vain for a Blackcap and Common whitethroat. I thought I might just get to 60 species for the daylist this morning, what with all the migrants, but I reached 52 species, a good total on any day. This dispite seeing 7 species that were not on yesterdays list of 55! I just can't seem to find them all on the same visit!

I took lots of Pics today. The first two are of Juv. GOLDFINCH'S

The next is of a Juv. BULLFINCH, not long out of the nest, It was calling incessantly to be fed, so it was easy to track down. I watched the female bird come and give it a feed.

Below is one of the Reed Buntings, found in the tall hedge.

This WREN was just below them. A bird that seems to avoid my camera most days.
Below are a couple of Wheatear photo's.

Next is one of the Yellow Wagtails that fed in the Horse paddocks

Below is the one of the Whinchats, they wouldn't allow close approach, and this is the best I could do!

The next photo was taken in my garden. The feeders have been overrun by GREENFINCH'S, I counted a minimum of 60 birds, it's just like it was when I first set up the feeding station, in the pre- Sparrowhawk days. I'll get some more shots of this lot.

Lastly, two photo's of the Fox and cat encounter, they were a long way off, so the pics are poor, but you can see they are best of friends!


Monika said...

Sounds like you had an awesome morning Warren! How cool to see so many exciting migrants at the same time.

That interaction between the fox/cat is amazing.

It's completely fogged in here this morning - I can't even see some of the other boats in the marina. I have to lead two wildlife trips today, so it will be interesting to see what does or doesn't pop up in the fog. We've taken to calling to "Fogust" over here, but the month is almost over, right?

swatson said...

what a brilliant day there Warren.And your photographs are fantastic.such an array of birds and then.....that brilliant shot of the cat and must be delighted

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Warren.
Nice to see the Fox and Cat having fun.
You should feel pleased with your days work in the field. You got some good birds there. Well done. Nice to see a photo of a Wren, not something you se everyday.

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Brilliant day list .
Do you think the Cat did the old 'distressed Rabbit call' to get Fox's attention ?

Chris said...

Hi Warren,
Wow what a day visit!! Incredible! I love the cat-fox encounter, incredible thing!!

Adam said...

Nice tally, Warren - just wished I got on patch today, wonder would have turned up in one of those 'muck' fields?! Nice pic of the juv Bullfinch.


Jann said...

Wow, an amazing day you had today! That wheatear is a nice looking bird...nice bird shots! How amazing that you saw a fox and cat like that!

Kelly said...

...I think many, many months ago when I first started following your blog, you had just posted a photo of a Little Owl. I thought you were talking about a "little" owl. It took a few more posts before I realized "Little" was part of its actual name! :-) for the fox and the cat--that totally has a child's animal adventure show written around it! How cool to see it. I would have never guessed a cat and a fox could be friends!

Dean said...

Great morning & great photos there, Warren. A much better one than i had.
One day left, to add to the months total. Go for it.

ShySongbird said...

A great list of sightings Warren and some lovely photos too! Fascinating to see the cat and fox.

We were promised a lovely weekend weather wise, they got it wrong again :(

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Warren: I love your fox and black panther encounter, so rare in England.

Tricia said...

Wow - what wonderful birds on your walk! A little owl too - fantastic!

You really do have the most fantastic variety of birds where you are Warren. Some of which would be lifers for me.