Another bright start to the day, but showers moved in for the afternoon.
My walk into work across Migrant Alley had me finding one of the 4 WHEATEARS that were around yesterday, as well as a YELLOW WAGTAIL flying over. Looking for the Wheatear on the way home, I found a WHINCHAT, probably one of yesterdays birds, but the Wheatear wasn't seen.
As has been the usual routine for the past few days, I again went straight over to Migrant Alley after lunch, as this is the place where I might just pick up a new bird species for the month or even the year. Quite a few birds were about today, the most numerous being a flock of 200+ STARLING and 50-60 ROOKS, with a few JACKDAWS among them, not to mention the 100's of HOUSE MARTIN that were filling the sky. A large group were over the Maize crop, but whatever direction I looked in, House Martins were seen in good numbers. A scan of the nearest flock over the sheep pasture was well worth the effort, as a SAND MARTIN was seen amongst them, as well as the 30 or so local SWALLOWS.
A walk round the fence line was had, and once again I found 3 Wheatear in the sheep pasture, where were they an hour ago ? The Whinchat was feeding in with them, as well as a few PIED WAGTAILS and 8 LINNETS. Carrying on up to the north end of Migrant Alley, and passing through the scrubby wood, a BULLFINCH flew out of the mangled hedge, and a CHIFFCHAFF called from one of the young Oaks, a cock PHEASANT was also seen, with 2 hens in tow, they are beginning to show up again around my patch after a few weeks absence.
Turning back south, and towards the Greenhouse complex, two LITTLE OWLS called excitedly from the Greenhouse Copse, sounded like they were arguing over something :-) A SPARROWHAWK went over and put all the Starlings up, but a few rooks soon chased the predator away. I got to my Skywatching seat beside the tall hedge, which thank god is still tall, if a little thinner, and sat down to rest my legs, looking along the hedgerow I saw a COMMON WHITETHOAT pop up, a good sighting, as this is the latest date I have recorded this particular migrant, 4 days later than the previous latest date.
Another Chiffchaff was found in the same hedge, and behind it, in the Greenhouse Grounds, a flock of 13 GOLDFINCH were on some thistle heads, whilst to my left over on the sheep pasture, a flock of 40+ MEADOW PIPITS flew up, circled and dropped back down again, a notable size flock for my patch.
In all, a very pleasant couple of hours, depite a heavy shower trying to dampen my spirit :-)
Below is the Cock Pheasant.
I had good views of the Whinchat today, but still a bit distant for photographing it. The Wheatear remained well out in the pasture today though.