The morning commenced cool but clear, and soon turned into another warm sunny day, embarrassing most of the summer months efforts that were endured.
I had to wait until 06:30 hrs until the light was good enough to get out, but very little was going on around the patch at that time, WREN, ROBIN, DUNNOCK and WOODPIGEON were first on the list, as is not unusual, 7 GREYLAG GEESE flew over, silhouetted against the eastern sky. ROOKS and CARRION CROWS flew over as did a GREY HERON and a CHIFFCHAFF was heard singing in the tree nursery, one of 6 seen today.
At Migrant Alley a few GULLS had already begun to arrive, HERRING and BLACK HEADED mostly with a single LESSER BLACK BACKED, two PHEASANT were on the edges of the recently ploughed field, where the remaining weeds were hosting a flock of around 20 LINNETS. MEADOW PIPIT, PIED WAGTAIL and JACKDAW joined the list, and a HOBBY flew over calling loudly, but there was not much else around the fields and paddocks.
On the way to the stream and college grounds, BLUE TIT, GREAT TIT, COLLARED DOVE, STARLING and BLACKBIRD were seen, and two CANADA GEESE flew low over. At the streamside few birds were around, but CHAFFINCH, GREEN and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER as well as a MOORHEN showed themselves. I crossed the stream and headed into the college grounds and garden where I found GREENFICH'S feeding on rose hips, and as I watched them fly up and into cover I saw that a BLACKCAP was with them. The days first MAGPIE was seen as I crossed the sports pitch to get back to Migrant Alley, and HOUSE SPARROW went on the daylist, seen at the stable yard. Back at Migrant Alley, I found no Wheatear, or any other passage migrants, but in the tall hedge a YELLOWHAMMER was seen, as was a GOLDFINCH. I did my customary last look back over the fields and managed to see both STOCK DOVE and SKYLARK, bringing the list to 35 at the halfway point.
After a quick refreshing drink, I went of to the small holding to get into the wet woods, and it wasn't until here that the next species was put on the list - a NUTHATCH that called loudly, LONG TAILED TITS, TREECREEPER and GOLDCREST were all heard, but unseen in the dense foilage of the trees. A MISTLE THRUSH flew across the large garden next to the lake area, but on the lake it was disappointing to see just MALLARD and Moorhens. I checked the scrub area, and found COAL TIT, SONG THRUSH, JAY and BULLFINCH which brought the days tally to 45 after the full patch walk. As I had time, I went back over to Migrant Alley for scan of the sky, which proved worthwhile, as 5 more species were seen, which rounded off the 50 for the day - KESTREL, SPARROWHAWK, COMMON BUZZARD, HOUSE MARTIN and of course, it had to turn up - a WHEATEAR!
It was notable that not one Swallow was seen, even the local ones have left now.
Above Sunrise. Below Sparrowhawk over Migrant Alley