Early sunshine gave way to a blanket of cloud this morning, and a cool northerly wind blew. The birds were not easy to locate first thing, with just 10 species being seen or heard in the hour between 06:00 and 07:00.
As the day warmed up a little, the birds came to life, but there were very few summer visitors left, 4 CHIFFCHAFF, 2 BLACKCAP, a few HOUSE MARTIN and SWALLOW over Migrant Alley and the college stables. A couple of exciting migrants did turn up though, a WHINCHAT was sat atop the maize, enjoying the last of the sunshine, but it didn't stay around long, as there were a few dog walkers about - with loose dogs. I had a look around the scrubby headland at migrant alley, and I was surprised to see the REDSTART fly out from the same bush as yesterday, it went deep into cover, where it started to call, a real bonus bird, as previous Redstarts have only stayed for one day. A YELLOW WAGTAIL also flew over calling, I can't really grumble about that little trio on my patch!
47 species were seen in the 5 hour visit, but a few regulars didn't show today, no Geese were seen, or Yellowhammer, Kestrel or Hobby. I did hear the latter off patch, calling loudly, confirmed by the Oxon Hoath birder ( they were on his patch) and a NUTHATCH did come to my garden feeders later in the day, so thats 48 for the day really.
Other noteworthy sightings were a SPARROWHAWK, and 75 BLACK HEADED GULLS that flew over in a protracted flock. A Common buzzard was seen to the south of my patch too.
Above and below the Whinchat, not particularly clear photo's, but I liked the ripe maize in the top pic. :-)