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.