Well today was a miserable affair, it rained on and off all day, with a stiff N breeze.
This afternoon I ventured out anyway, hoping that a few migrant species would drop down into the maize and sit out the weather. When I arrived at Migrant Alley there was a group of 30 or so people gathered, a class from the college, fortunatley they didn't stay long, but as I peered through my bins at them, I noticed a small bird, just 30feet in front of the class, it looked like a Wheatear, but I was a long way off, none of them noticed it!
When the crowd moved off I walked down the weedy edge of the Maize crop to get a closer view of the bird, typically it flew off across the maize before I got within 50m of it. So I backed tracked and went to where I thought it went - in one of the horse paddocks. It didn't take long to find it again, perched on the fenceline, and indeed it was a WHEATEAR, just finding this migrant made it worth going out in the miserable conditions.
I wandered round the maize and paddocks, visited the scrub, and did a bit of skywatching, but not a great deal was noted. A SPARROWHAWK didn't help, it flew low and slow over the maize tops, and I watched it drop into the crop, a few seconds later 4-5 LINNETS came hurtling out, with the Sparrowhawk close behind, it picked out one bird and easily plucked it from the sky, leaving a puff of feathers, a sad end to a young Linnet that had survived this long into the summer.
My final walk up the weedy edge of the maize was rewarded with yet another sighting of probably the same SEDGE WARBLER that has been there for most of this month. Wheatear and Sedge warbler, two nice migrant species for my patch, and worth getting wet for.
Below is the Wheatear, but today was not a camera day!