The sight and sound of 150+ GREYLAG GEESE flying over greeted me this morning as I walked to work across Migrant Alley, also this morning the SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS were very active in the College Grounds, 2 adults and at least 2 fledged young were calling noisily to each other.
Just as I was leaving the house for my afternoon patch visit, I heard a distinctive ''pitchoo'' call coming from the Elder tree at the bottom of the garden, was it just a Great Tit immitating a Marsh Tit call ? I walked slowly down and sat beneath the tree, and heard the call again, this time no mistaking it, I got brief glimpses of it as it picked off Elder berries, a MARSH TIT (69). This is the first one in the garden this year, the 31st bird species of 2010 to use my little wildlife oasis :-).
Whilst I sat, trying and failing to get a photo of it, a few more nice species were noted, including a NUTHATCH and a pair of BULLFINCH, as well as a GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER.
I only had time for an hour out on my patch, and used it to walk round the paddocks and pasture of Migrant Alley, hoping yet again for a migrant species to boost the year or month list, but no, nothing of that sort today. I did see two PEREGRINES and a HOBBY all together - not getting on at all :-) A couple of WHITETHROATS were in the boundary hedgerow of the Greenhouse Complex, a few PIED WAGTAILS flew over with food, obviously they have another hungry brood to feed, as had a YELLOWHAMMER, which sat atop the Tall hedge with a beak full of fledgling food. Around 15-20 GOLDFINCH'S with a few LINNETS were feeding on thistle heads, and the SWALLOWS plus the local HOUSE MARTINS were hawking for insects abobe the sheep pasture, but apart from the usual large ROOK and JACKDAW flock that was about it for today. At least I picked up that Marsh Tit for the months list, lets hope it stays around until the spring. Just two more new species for August and I will beat the record total of 70 that was achieved in both 2008 and 2009.
I took these photo's while I waited for a shot of the Marsh Tit
Above and Below: Juv, HOUSE SPARROW