The first full patch visit of August took place in ideal conditions today, and I was full of enthusiasm after my break. However, it was hard going finding the birds, the only song heard was from a WREN and a rather subdued BLACKCAP. The first half of my walk only produced 33 species, the highlight being a HOBBY that flew low over the College sports pitch with a small item of prey.
I was hoping to find the Spotted Flycatchers around the College grounds, but they have either dispearsed or have gone very elusive again, I did find a pair of MISTLE THRUSH'S there though, they have been hard to find recently. Migrant Alley didn't come up with any migrants this morning, the Wheater had moved on, but I saw a dozen SKYLARKS around the edge of the Maize crop where it meets the bare earth of the pipeline works.
The second half of my walk provided me with 14 more species, thanks to a large feeding flock of woodland birds, which was made up of LONG TAILED, BLUE, GREAT and COAL TITS, plus at least 2 NUTHATCH and a TREECREEPER. The lake was disappointing, just a single MALLARD was seen there, I'm still hoping to find a Mandarin Duck there for the year list, talking of which - An hours afternoon walk over to the Maize crop back at Migrant Alley, proved very rewarding, for as well as a SPARROWHAWK ( this was carrying prey as well!) to add to my daylist, I managed to find the first SEDGE WARBLER (103) of the year!
Ive been watching out for this migrant species after missing it in the spring. They are by no means a common migrant visitor to my patch and they are easy to miss when they do come through. I have recorded this species in 5 out of the 8 years of recording, 4 times on Autumn passage and once on spring passage.
So a slow day ended up a ok in the end, with a daylist of 49 species. Yesterdays Wheatear and the Swift that I made sure I saw before leaving for Wales ( none were seen today, and they will be harder to find day by day) brings the months total to 51 - still 19 behind last years record Aug. total!
Below is one of a family of WHITETHROATS I saw around the Grenhouse complex.
Below is a selection of Butterflies, top is a rather worn Brown Argus, next is a Common Blue and lastly a Green Viened White.