Wednesday, 30 September 2009

The last september patch visit; and what a drab one, after such a good month! The highlight was this morning, was a KESTREL hunted around the greenhouses and a CHIFFCHAFF sang from the College grounds!

This afternoon, despite ideal watching conditions - overcast and no wind, very little of note was seen. I went over to the Lake area in the hope of a Teal or Mandarin duck, but all that was there was 5 MALLARD and 7 MOORHEN, oh and a GREY HERON.

Over to Migrant Alley and the LINNET flock had grown to around 75+, PIED WAGTAILS had increased from yesterday as well with at least 25 feeding on the horse paddocks, a few MEADOW PIPITS came and went throughout the afternoon, but not one Skylark was seen. I hope October starts better than this!

A few quick September stats -

species seen 78, a new september record. ( and the best ever months total for any month)

Combined species total for all Septembers - 88

Only one new september species was seen a Marsh Harrier

Mean number of species seen for the month of september is 65. That shows what a good month I had this month!

It all starts again tomorrow, hopefully there will be some winter visitors arriving during October - cant wait!

The only pic. I took today was of this strangely marked Pied Wagtail!

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Nothing much has changed on my patch from yesterday. This afternoons visit to Migrant Alley was dominated by BLACK HEADED GULLS, 150 or so followed a tractor that was again harrowing the bone dry field. 6 LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL were also around, but the HERRING GULLS left early for some reason.

Not a single summer visitor was seen, not even a Chiffchaff, and the long staying Wheatear seems to have left as well. That left me with the residents, LINNETS, PIED WAGTAILS and SKYLARKS of which a group of 20 flew through. The large flock of corvids moved around the fields and paddocks, I think they were spooked by the large female SPARROWHAWK that went over a few times!

Thats about it - no more species to add for the months list, and with just one more day left, the tally will probably remain on 78, but that is one good september total, i'm well pleased with it, such birds as Marsh Harrier, Whinchat, Stonechat, Wheatear, Yellow Wagtail and Redstart made it probably the most enjoyable month so far on my patch.

Above: Black Headed Gulls on the bone dry field.

Above: Adult Black headed Gull. Below 1st winter Black Headed Gull ( I told you today was Gull dominated!)

Monday, 28 September 2009

Not much occurred during the walk into work and back, this morning, a KESTREL hunted over the tree nursery, and one of the Peregrines was on the village tower, but thats off my patch.

This afternoon I had only 90 mins out around Migrant Alley, not long enough! I did manage to find a WHEATEAR again, i'm not sure wether it is the same bird or a new migrant. A family party of BULLFINCH'S were in the scrub headland, as was a flock of 8 LONG TAILEED TITS, and I watched 5 Chiffchaffs working a hedgerow that was just off of my patch.

A 40 min skywatch produced a stream of BLACK HEADED and HERRING GULLS going over to a nearby field that was being harrowed, aslo a GREY HERON, and few MEADOW PIPITS. Common Buzzard and Sparrowhawk were seen, but again they were well off my patch - the story of my day! As I was leaving, 5 LAPWING flying over the Greenhouse complex was a nice sight.

The only pics I got today was of this young female blackbird, it was bathing in a puddle, made by a cut to ribbons water pipe that fed a trough. Damaged caused by one of those carefully driven hedge flailing machines!

Sunday, 27 September 2009

The last full patch walk of september took place in similar conditions to yesterday, cool and clear to begin with - sunny and warm later.

I started my walk with the small holding, wet woods, and lake area today, in order to get to the lake early, if I was going to get a new species for the month it would probably be a duck species. However, my plans were scuppered, as there were noisy fisherman using the lake, and nothing but MALLARD and MOORHEN were seen. Its always a gamble doing the lake circuit first, as it means I get round later to the college area, where there will be disturbance, so I blew out all round today.

I did see some good birds though, HOBBY, BLACKCAP, up to 7 CHIFFCHAFF and 3 migrant SWALLOWS were the remnants of summer birds. A WHEATEAR was still at Migrant Alley, where a KESTREL and SPARROWHAWK were hunting. SKYLARK, PIED WAGTAIL, LINNET and MEADOW PIPIT were also at Migrant Alley.

The best of the wet woods and lake area were TREECREEPER, NUTHATCH, a family party of BULLFINCH'S and one of the two 'wintering' MARSH TITS was found.

46 species was a fair tally for the day, but it's a bit frustrating not getting any new monthly species, as I am so close to getting 80 now, mind you I have only recorded 88 species in all of the now 8 septembers combined, so I have had a good run, the missing birds are things like Osprey and Barn Owl, which are one time birds only!

I got a few photo's today, below is another Clouded yellow butterfly

Above and below are Skylarks, the top one looks real cute if you enlarge it.

Below is a Chiffchaff

Lastly a GREAT TIT

Saturday, 26 September 2009

The morning commenced cool but clear, and soon turned into another warm sunny day, embarrassing most of the summer months efforts that were endured.

I had to wait until 06:30 hrs until the light was good enough to get out, but very little was going on around the patch at that time, WREN, ROBIN, DUNNOCK and WOODPIGEON were first on the list, as is not unusual, 7 GREYLAG GEESE flew over, silhouetted against the eastern sky. ROOKS and CARRION CROWS flew over as did a GREY HERON and a CHIFFCHAFF was heard singing in the tree nursery, one of 6 seen today.

At Migrant Alley a few GULLS had already begun to arrive, HERRING and BLACK HEADED mostly with a single LESSER BLACK BACKED, two PHEASANT were on the edges of the recently ploughed field, where the remaining weeds were hosting a flock of around 20 LINNETS. MEADOW PIPIT, PIED WAGTAIL and JACKDAW joined the list, and a HOBBY flew over calling loudly, but there was not much else around the fields and paddocks.

On the way to the stream and college grounds, BLUE TIT, GREAT TIT, COLLARED DOVE, STARLING and BLACKBIRD were seen, and two CANADA GEESE flew low over. At the streamside few birds were around, but CHAFFINCH, GREEN and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER as well as a MOORHEN showed themselves. I crossed the stream and headed into the college grounds and garden where I found GREENFICH'S feeding on rose hips, and as I watched them fly up and into cover I saw that a BLACKCAP was with them. The days first MAGPIE was seen as I crossed the sports pitch to get back to Migrant Alley, and HOUSE SPARROW went on the daylist, seen at the stable yard. Back at Migrant Alley, I found no Wheatear, or any other passage migrants, but in the tall hedge a YELLOWHAMMER was seen, as was a GOLDFINCH. I did my customary last look back over the fields and managed to see both STOCK DOVE and SKYLARK, bringing the list to 35 at the halfway point.

After a quick refreshing drink, I went of to the small holding to get into the wet woods, and it wasn't until here that the next species was put on the list - a NUTHATCH that called loudly, LONG TAILED TITS, TREECREEPER and GOLDCREST were all heard, but unseen in the dense foilage of the trees. A MISTLE THRUSH flew across the large garden next to the lake area, but on the lake it was disappointing to see just MALLARD and Moorhens. I checked the scrub area, and found COAL TIT, SONG THRUSH, JAY and BULLFINCH which brought the days tally to 45 after the full patch walk. As I had time, I went back over to Migrant Alley for scan of the sky, which proved worthwhile, as 5 more species were seen, which rounded off the 50 for the day - KESTREL, SPARROWHAWK, COMMON BUZZARD, HOUSE MARTIN and of course, it had to turn up - a WHEATEAR!
It was notable that not one Swallow was seen, even the local ones have left now.

Above Sunrise. Below Sparrowhawk over Migrant Alley

Below is the Wheatear. I have recorded this migrant species in eleven out of the past 12 days now.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Once again the weather was more akin to a summers day than mid. Autumn, but i'll not complain about that!

The Maize stubbles were being ploughed in this afternoon, and I spent from 14:30 to 17:30 watching what might drop in. At first just 14 HERRING GULLS and one LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL were seen, I put this down to the fact that the soil being turned over was so dry, with very few worms being thrown up. I decided to take a walk through the Scrubby headland, in the hope of finding a rare Migrant, but as usual I didn't, but there was a party of 13 LONG TAILED TITS, and a CHIFFCHAFF that was following them.

I eventually made my way back to the plough, and sat down to watch, a COMMON BUZZARD flew high overhead, but it didn't seem to phase the Gulls, which had now been joined by about 100 BLACK HEADED GULLS. I scanned all that I could, but couldn't find a Med Gull. Half an hour later, the Blackheaded Gulls had doubled in number, and were joined by at least 3 COMMON GULLS, 14 more Lesser Blackback Gulls and 40 Herring Gulls.

30-40 LINNETS flew up each time the tractor passed them, and MEADOW PIPITS dropped in to join the crowd, as well as a few PIED WAGTAILS. More scanning of the Black Headed Gulls still didn't reveal a Med Gull, I looked through over 200 of them! I gave the fencelines a scan, just to give me something different to look at, and found yet another WHEATEAR, so I crept up and took its photo, I just had to!

Straight after the ploughing, the field was rolled, and then left to the birds, I watched 2 SKYLARKS drop in, 4 STOCK DOVES and 7 COLLARED DOVES, but another good scan of the Gulls didn't add anything to the September list.

There were no Swallows recorded today, and just 2 HOUSE MARTINS were seen, only a few more weeks and even these will be gone.

Below is a Comma Butterfly, enjoying the sunshine

You can see how dry the field is by the plume of dust coming up from the plough.

Above and below are pics. of one of the Long Tailed Tits

Below is a WREN
lastly of course the Wheatear!

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Today was a day stolen from summer, warm, blue skyed, and little wind. It was briefly a little chilly as I left for work this morning, but it soon warmed up. The only thing of note on my walk in was one of the PEREGRINES on the village Tower, but thats off my patch.

I walked home from work across Migrant Alley, and once again, in the harrowed maize stubbles, I found a WHEATEAR, this one was different from all the others I had seen this Autumn, as it was an adult male, much more colourful and srtikingly marked, all the other Wheatears have been Immature/female types.

After something to eat I returned to the Maize to try and get a photo of the adult Wheatear, as I scanned the field I found not a Wheatear, but a LAPWING, well thats one more for the September list! A little more scanning and I found a Wheatear, but this one wasn't the adult male, that meant two of them, I almost immediatley found the adult bird a way off, and as I walked the fence line to get closer, two more Wheatears flew up and onto the fence, now there were four! Thats the second party of four this month, a great record.

I spent the afternoon watching the coming and going of the Wheatears, and whilst doing so also saw 2 SKYLARKS, and the LINNET flock, which seems to be getting bigger by the day, there were at least 40. MEADOW PIPITS put in an appearance, as did a few PIED WAGTAILS.

Overhead a SPARROWHAWK came over breifly, before being seen of by the JACKDAWS, and the local SWALLOWS were feeding, at times joined by small groups of HOUSE MARTINS, but nowhere near the numbers of yesterday. The only other summer bird seen was a CHIFFCHAFF in the scrub at the headland.

Above Lapwing No. 78 !
Above is one of the Linnets.

Above and below are 'usual' type Wheatears

Above the Male (right) with another Immature/female type

Above is the adult Male, I couldn't get very close to him, but you can see the striking plumage difference

Below is the Male bird in the harrowed maize, you can see how hard I have to scan to find these camouflaged migrants! can you see it ?

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

On the way to work this morning, another sighting of a WHEATEAR was had at Migrant Alley, as well the two HOBBIES which were again in the top of a favoured tree in the college grounds.

The weather for this afternoons visit went rapidly down hill, becoming dull and drizzely by 15:00hrs, but I managed to re-find the Wheatear again. I was looking back at last years Wheatear sightings and was surprised to see that the last one was recorded on the 20th Sept. so it is possible today could be the last one, but there again looking back further, I have recorded them well into October, in 3 out of the 7 past Autumns. I looked at the Whinchat as well, they have never been recorded in Oct. before, and the latest one seen was on the 28th Sept. last year, so I probably have a week in which to find another.

Back to this afternoon, which was spent watching over the fields and paddocks again, the maize was being harrowed in, prior to ploughing, and had a small number of PIED WAGTAILS following the tractor. On the edges of the maize 25-30 LINNETS were on the weeds, and a few MEADOW PIPITS came and went. The two HOBBIES were hunting over the area, but were nowhere to be seen when at least 600 HOUSE MARTINS came through. They were quite some sight, the sky was full of them, I scanned all the way to the horizon and still more were coming, this was Migration in action!

A STARLING flock of some 500 birds was seen in the sheep pasture, but as the drizzle got heavier, I made an early departure, a quick sky scan only revealed BLACK HEADED and HERRING GULL. if the field is ploughed tomorrow there should be a few of them following the tractor, and maybe a Med. Gull for the months list, which has stagnated now.

I didn't get any pics today, the light was too dull, try again tomorrow.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

No Hobbies or peregrines this morning as I walked to work, but a KESTREL was out early hunting over the maize stubbles. A brief glimpse of a small raptor was had as it flew over the college grounds, it wasn't a kestrel, or a Sparrowhawk, I was sure it was a Merlin, but I had a very fleeting look at it, its wings were no where near long enough for a hobby, but it had a very short tail - oh well, one that got away, a Merlin would have been a patch tick!

This afternoon was always going to be a bit of a come down after yesterdays highlights, but there were two WHEATEARS at Migrant Alley, MEADOW PIPITS, LINNETS, and a SKYLARK were also present. It was a bit frustrating because of the amount of disturbance going on, - from hedge cutting, pigeon shooting, even the air ambulance, flying around low! The presence of a SPARROWHAWK over the Paddocks, Maize and up and down the hedgerows didn't help matters either. I watched it try to catch a Linnet, but it wasn't quite agile enough, and the linnet lived to fight another day.

The maize stubbles just outside my patch were ploughed in today, and many Gulls were watched drifting over to feed on the plough, it probably wont be long now before the stbbles at Migrant Alley get ploughed in, so maybe i'll get something new drop in for the month, a Lapwing wouldn't be too unusual.

Above is the Sparrowhawk, being chased by a few ROOKS
Below is, I think, a Common Darter, not looking its best.
You might have to click on these pics and enlarge them for a better view

Monday, 21 September 2009

I had good views of the pair PEREGRINES, and a pair HOBBIES this morning, the former on their favoured tower, the latter sat up on the tree that I took the photo from yesterday - a nice way to start the working day, week even!

This afternoon after work, I was out at Migrant Alley by 14:15 and not alot was happening, for two hours I scanned the sky, the fencelines and the Maize stubbles, but all I got was a flyover BUZZARD, (ok thats a good bird ) and a flyover CORMORANT. A few SWALLOWS were around, but they were the local breeding birds, still with young to feed I reckon.

At 16:15 I decided to call it a day, and trudged off across what remains of the weedy edge of the maize stubbles. Then, a familiar white rumped bird flew up from 20m in front of me, WHEATEAR - at last something to cheer the day, but hang on, theres another, and another and yet another, 4 Wheatear, Wow, this is the best peak count, since I recorded four back in Sept. 2003. Well that really put some spring back in my legs, and after my fill of Wheatear, I walked of a happy man......However, the god of gleefulness hadn't done with me yet! I walked the fenceline at the end of the stubbles, and a small bird was on the fence post, I got onto it with my bins - STONECHAT! Another scarce migrant on my patch, and a new one for the September list that I had all but given up on. These migrants must have only dropped in as I was crossing the field, now I wasn't just a happy man I was very happy.......However, still the god of gleefulness had more for me ( and do I deserve it!)

As I walked to the corner of the stubble field to cross into the Greenhouse complex, I noticed quite a bit of movement in the scrubby area around the Greenhouses, I investigated and found ROBINS, DUNNOCKS, GREAT and BLUE TITS and a BLACKBIRD, then a female BLACKCAP popped up, but the real bonuses were a LESSER WHITETHROAT, and a WILLOW WARBLER both in an elder bush, and both go onto the months list, now I was an ecstatic man!!

Both these species are the latest ever recorded, the Lesser Whitethroat by one day, and the Willow Warbler by 11 days. The months list,now 77 has blown away the previous sept record of 72 and the best ever monthly tally of 73!

What an afternoons birding!

Above and below Wheatears galore!

Above and below, Stonechat - great bird for my patch.

One of the local Swallows, they wont be here much longer now

Below is an attempted Willow Warbler shot, it just wouldn't stay still, I stalked it from bush to bush, and caught up with it in an alder tree, but this is the best I could do!

Sunday, 20 September 2009

An extended 7.5 hour visit was made of my patch today, in two sessions, 06:30 - 10:30 and 11:30 - 15:00. In all, an excellent 56 species were recorded, with two new additions for the months list. A PEREGRINE that was seen flying over Migrant Alley to its favoured perch, on the tower, and at last a KINGFISHER, which was heard flying along the college stream, then picked up as it flashed by. So that brings up the months total to the best monthly tally ever recorded of 74 species, I don't think there will be much left to add for sept. now!

Some great birds were seen today as well, HOBBIES continually hunted over my patch, at least two were present, a COMMON BUZZARD went over, and a KESTREL hunted as well, thats a '4 raptor' day with the Peregrine. Two WHEATEARS were feeding on the maize stubbles, along with MEADOW PIPITS, LINNETS,SKYLARKS and a mix of JACKDAWS, ROOKS and CARRION CROWS. Also at Migrant Alley, in the tall hedge, were a mix of YELLOWHAMMER, REED BUNTING, GREENFINCH and CHAFFINCH, they were making feeding forays into the Maize stubbles, making for an autumnal coloured scene.

At times the sky was full of migrating HOUSE MARTINS and SWALLOWS, which passed over in varying numbers, from 20, to as many as a hundred. A YELLOW WAGTAIL that went over calling, made up the trio of wagtails, as I had recorded a GREY WAGTAIL this morning, and 58 PIED WAGTAILS that flew from thier roost at the Greenhouses.

A Whitethroat that was seen around the Greenhouse complex, was the latest ever recorded, by eight days, and will surely be the last until next spring.

Above and below a young HOUSE SPARROW
Below is a Hobby that alighted on a tree top, it was mercilessly mobbed by Jackdaws for 10 mins, before flying off.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

I was a bit caught out by the weather this morning, I had a hat and coat on, thinking it would be as cool as recent mornings, but it was in fact very mild, and windless - for once.

It was barely light at 06:00 when I left the house, and not much was stirring, the ROBINS 'ticked' in the hedgerow along Ashes Lane, and WOODPIGEONS flew over, silhouetted against the eastern sky, a WREN let out a loud song, but that was drowned out by the yaffle of a GREEN WOODPECKER from the tree nursery. Just ten more species were found as I worked my way to Migrant alley, where I was a bit miffed to find a tractor ''mowing'' the maize stubbles. Blimey he must have been keen it was only 06:30!

The noise and disturbance of the tractor meant any birds that would have been around had gone elsewhere, however I did see two COMMON BUZZARDS drop down on one of the quieter fields, behind the Greenhouse Complex. I carried on down to the College stream, hoping to find my first Kingfisher of the month, but it did not oblige, I just carried on finding the usual suspects, Tits, Finch's, BLACKBIRD, SONGTHRUSH,COLLARED DOVE etc. I crossed the stream and went into the college grounds, again hoping to find a Kingfisher on one of the small ponds, but none was seen here either, JAY, CHIFFCHAFF, BLACKCAP and GOLDCREST were good finds for the daylist though.

Back at Migrant Alley, the tractor had finshed, and all was quiet again, I watched 2 LESSER BLACKED GULLS fly down onto the disturbed ground, and heard LINNETS, PIED WAGTAILS and MEADOW PIPITS all come down onto the stubbles. I don't think the stubbles will be around all winter this year, as the field is going to be 'rotated' and it will be pasture next year, this could be a blow for finding those Sedge and Reed Warblers for next year! Anyway I moved down the paddocks a little further and was pleased to see both the WHINCHAT and the WHEATEAR along the fence rail. Overhead a HOBBY had an encounter with a SPARROWHAWK - they called it a draw I think, and a flock of mixed GULLS went over HERRING and BLACKHEADED, a few minutes later it was good to see four MISTLE THRUSH go over, not seeing much of them at the moment.

The second half of my walk was a fairly quiet affair, the normal woodland species were found, NUTHATCH, TREECREEPER, BULLFINCH, but not one Long Tailed Tit was seen. Upon reaching the lake area I once more tried to find the elusive Kingfisher but again failed, I wasn't helped by the fishermen already there, shouting across from one side of the bank to the other!

I had reached 45 species after my circuit, but still had a bit of time to go and do half an hours skywatching at Migrant Alley, it didn't produce the Osprey or Honey Buzzard I wanted, but I did get HOUSE MARTIN, YELLOWHAMMER and two REED BUNTING for the daylist. 48 for the day is a good enough count for september, but still nothing new for the months list. Just one more will give me not only the september record, but will also equal the best ever months tally, reached in December last year, a strange month to have my best ever monthly count!

Above and below one of my old favourites - the Whinchat

Friday, 18 September 2009

Once again this morning I found a WHEATEAR at migrant alley as I walked to work, also a BLACKCAP was giving some quiet sub-song in the tall hedge, and a Male SPARROWHAWK flew low over the fresh cut maize.

This afternoons walk had a bit of a difference to it, I had agreed to take round one of the College students to aid him with his wildlife studies, so I left the camera at home. I met up with Robert the student, and found that he knew next to nothing about Birds, butterflies or any other wildlife, but I did my best to show him what could be around Migrant Alley. Almost the first bird I showed him was the REDSTART! The best views I have had yet of it ( 'cos I had no camera!) I tried to explain to Robert how much of a scarce bird this was on my patch, but to him all the birds were scarce - he had never seen most of them!

We walked round the maize crop and I showed him the LINNETS, which were now in a flock of around 35, also the PIED WAGTAILS, the different Corvids and how to seperate Rooks, Jackdaws and Carrion crows. We listened to the 'seep seep' calls of the MEADOW PIPITS that were flying out of the maize Stubbles, and I explained how they were not local birds, but birds that had probably come from the northern and western uplands. Then he had his second highlight of the day when a HOBBY flew low over us, circled round, and gave good photographic opportunities (grrr). The very next bird was a WHINCHAT, which meant more explaining of Migrant species. After two hours I let the poor man go, as I had probably confused him enough for one afternoon, but even as I was saying goodbye to him 3 Clouded Yellow butteflies flew past, a single and a pair, I had to inform him how unusual these butterflies were, so as to explain my excited behaviour.

After Robert left, I had great views of the Whinchat, so I rushed off home for my camera. luckily when I got back it was still around, but I couldn't get as close as I had earlier. Another walk round the Miaze stubbles/horse paddocks and more joy for me, in the form of a WHEATEAR. Once again I had recorded the Whinchat, Wheatear, and Redstart on the same afternoon, what a treat. I'm certain the Redstart is the same individual that I first recorded on the 12th, but the Whinchat and Wheatear may well have been different birds.

Despite all these scarce species being seen, none of them were new for my months list, and it remains static, at 72. Maybe i'll get something new on tomorrows morning visit.

Below is a Photo of a Peacock Butterfly, the first ive seen for ages.

Above and below is the Whinchat

Lastly, lots of Wheatear photo's, just because they are so photogenic and great birds!

Thursday, 17 September 2009

As if to make up for the past two quieter days, today was much better, right from the off. As I walked into work I found a WHEATEAR at Migrant Alley (where else!) a good way to start the day.

This afternoon the wind was back, but not as bad as yesterday. I had already seen that the Maize crop had started to be harvested, as I walked home from work, so I went back over after a very quick lunch. I wanted to try to catch the last bit being harvested, this is where all the birds congregate, right up until the last minute, they have to dive into the nearset cover as their last refuge gets cut down - giving me time to see them. Unfortunately I was just a minute or two too late.

At least now I could see all the fence lines and posts right around Migrant Alley, and a quick scan revealed a small blob on one of the fences, about 100m away. As I got nearer I found it to be a WHINCHAT, fantastic! A Wheatear and Whinchat on the same day. I tried to get close enough for a photo, but it flew off into the Maize stubble and I lost view of it.

All around me HOUSE MARTINS and SWALLOWS whizzed around taking the freshly disturbed insects, and I managed to pick out at least 3 SAND MARTINS amongst them - another good migrant species for my patch. A walk round the perimeter of the stubbles also gave me a couple of YELLOWHAMMER, and a little later 4 MEADOW PIPIT dropped down, if only every day could be like this!

I had a wander through the scrub area at the headland of migrant alley, and found a few Comma Butterflies as well as a Painted Lady and quite a few Speckled woods, but the best part was re-locating thr REDSTART, I tried to photograph it, but it was just impossible, as it kept moving about in a dense thicket. A quick Skywatch was all I had time for, but not one raptor was seen, which probably accounts for the amount of passerine activity I had today, I did have 2 MISTLE THRUSHES flyover though, only the second this month, and a GREY HERON went lazily overhead.

Whinchat, Wheatear and Redstart on the same afternoon, as well as the Sand Martins, this was quite something for my patch, about time I was given a bit of reward for my efforts. :-)

Above is a Comma Butterfly, below is the underside of it, you can just make out the white 'Comma' mark on its hind wing.

Beow is one of the Speckled Wood Butterflies

Next is my attempt to photograph one of the Housemartins, not a very good attempt, but an interesting bit of upside down flying!

lastly the Grey heron that flew low overhead.