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