Crossing Migrant Alley the SWALLOWS were again queing for the water trough, four SKYLARKS chased around the uncut silage field, while five BLACK HEADED GULLS flew over low and slow, looking great in their breeding plumage, ive learned to appreciate these Gulls, most of my sightings are in the Autumn /winter period, when they have lost their hoods, and look quite different.
Whilst walking back home I saw that the silage field had started to be cut, barely a month after it's first cropping, such is the speed of it's growth after being heavily fertilized, unfortunately, modern farming being totally out of sinc with nature, means that for a second time any Skylarks nests will have been destroyed. Years ago there would have been just one cut, in mid to late July, giving time for the ground nesters to breed.
I went back over to watch the grass silage being cut after I had refuled with something to eat and drink, and despite the showery weather this morning, it had turned out hot and humid again, sapping any energy I had left after a hard mornings work :-) I didn't get any further than my skywatching seat, and spent a couple of hours looking out for anything that might be attracted to the insects put up from the mowed grass.
The first things to arrive were the Swallows, shortly followed by a LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL, then later, two more joined it, with a HERRING GULL. Higher up around 20 SWIFTS circled round, whilst 2 pairs of PIED WAGTAILS made the most of the winged prey, ferrying to and from the Greenhouse Complex where they nest, they must be on second broods now. A mixed flock of ROOKS, CARRION CROWS and JACKDAWS came down after the Tractor had finished, these were all put up by a Passing SPARROWHAWK. The local KESTREL got in on the act, hoverring over the cut field, but soon moved off after finding nothing mammalian.
This Lesser Black backed Gull came near enough for a photo.
The Sparrowhawk didn't really come near enough though, but I took a photo anyway
Walking back home, I saw this nice looking Large Skipper - rude not to photograph such a good looking specimen!