I was up and out at 06:00hrs this morning, keen to make my first full walk of my patch this month, and what a cracking visit I had. The daylist reached 52 species, noteworthy in itself, but in it included 8 new species for the month.
It started off a bit slow, and I wondered if the quiet start to september would continue, I needed have worried though, after jotting down the familiar leaders of my list, WOODPIGEON, ROBIN, MAGPIE, JACKDAW, BULLFINCH, CARRION CROW, and CHAFFINCH, the eighth species found was a GREYLAG GOOSE, 2 flew over the tree nursery, and straight onto the september list!
Another 17 species later, which included 3 GULL species, LESSER BLACK BACKED, HERRING and BLACK HEADED, the next newcomer to the september list was found a WHEATEAR, at Migrant Alley, at this stage it was the only migrant species seen there, so I carried on and walked along the stream and college grounds, picking up another 9 species, the best of which were a SPARROWHAWK and two singing CHIFFCHAFF. On my return to migrant alley, I was pleased to see a pair of REED BUNTINGS in the tall hedge, the days third new entry onto the monthly list, but better still was finding 2 REED WARBLERS a little further down, amongst a small scrubby area in the greenhouse grounds.
I got home and rushed a snack and drink, and was out again 5 mins later. I walked the second half of my patch, and picked up GREEN and GOLDFINCH in the small holding, as well as a SONGTHRUSH, all 3 species had somehow eluded me earlier! A feeding flock of passerines were found in the wet woods, which included the usual suspects, BLUE, GREAT, COAL and LONG TAILED TITS, as well as a NUTHATCH, TREECREEPER, GOLDCREST and another Chiffchaff. the lake area was scanned carefully for the Coot, but it seems to have gone, just MALLARDS, MOORHENS, and a GREY HERON were found. A quick look around the adjacent scrub area produced the fourth new species for the month - a BLACKCAP - at last!
I decided I would take another look around Migrant Alley, as I had all day ( the wife was out visiting her mum at Hastings) I was glad I did, I went to find the Wheatear again to try and photograph it, and found it had been joined by a WHINCHAT, and in the paddocks a lone YELLOW WAGTAIL had dropped in, they must have arrived in the last 90mins! Thats two more for the month. I stayed around for another two hours, and added YELLOWHAMMER to the daylist, but the species I had been waiting and listening out for arrived as well, when a single MEADOW PIPIT flew over calling its seep seep seep call. I can always rely on these migrant birds pepping up the sept. list. Last year they arrived on my patch on the 7th, which was the joint earliest ever arrival date, with 2006, so that earliest date has now been re-set! During the rest of the afternoon another 3 singles flew over and a group of 3, so they are really on the move now!
During the two hour extra stay at Migrant alley, I must have walked round the Maize edges 5-6 times, and each time I kept flushing up Little Brown Jobs! I am sure that they were sedge warblers, but I got such fleeting views that i couldn't be sure. Another frustrating moment was had when I sat on the fence for a rest, I looked down at the wedy edge of the maize and saw what I believed to be a Grasshopper warbler, my heart was pounding, this would be a patch tick! I needed to get my bins on it, but it saw me move and darted back into the maize - never to be seen again. I 90% sure it was a Grasshopper warbler - but I just didn't get my bins on it to confirm it---BUGGER!!!!!!! At least on my way back home I saw the 6oth species for the month, a flyover CORMORANT, I only need 12 more species to equal the sept record now - only!
below is one of the Reed Buntings in the Tall hedge
Next are 3 pics of the Whichat, because i love 'em!