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.


Greenie said...

Warren ,
Just out of interest , was it you or the Sand Martin that was upside down ?
Make the most of the butterflies , there won't be a lot more .
No doubt the reward was 'Vino Colapso' .

Warren Baker said...

It could of been me greenie, I was turning cartwheels with all the migrant success today!

swatson said...

Pleased you had a great day the photo of the comma butterfly.Often wondered why they called it a comma now I know...
Sheila thanks...

Chris said...

Hi Warren,
Happy you got a nice birding day! It was time that the weather turned a bit better. Here I got 30 minutes of sun but saw nothing special, just starlings and redwings!

Dean said...

Good day then, Warren. Totally opposite end of the scale to my one.

Lancs and Lakes Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Sounds like a good day down there - all I got here was a lonely goldcrest on patch 1



Jann said...

Very nice heron shot! Love the martin too; it's always fun to get a shot at an interesting angle. The comma pics are great, too.

ShySongbird said...

A good day there Warren, lots of interest and an unusual photo of the Housemartin ;)