Thursday, 16 September 2010

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.

In one of the brief sunny spells, I was pleased to see this very well looking Small Copper in the Greenhouse Grounds

Another butterfly species still on the wing was this Speckled Wood, seen in the north end scrub.


Jason K said...

Sounds like you had a good day with Wheatears and Yellow Wag. Things have been moving on my patch today with 3 Wheatears in today.

Bob Bushell said...

The Small Copper is hardly away from you, I thought they gone completely, but it isn't. Good pictures for all of them.

Anthony Miners said...

Noice shot of the Whinchat ive still yet to spot one

Anonymous said...

Despite not adding anything to your monthly list, you still had a better day than me. Good stuff Warren.

Kingsdowner said...

Good pics of Whinchat Warren.

BTW I saw this and thought of you:

ShySongbird said...

Lovely shots of the Wheatear again! I can't work out why I never see a Linnet especially as they seem to be pretty widespread across the country.

Love the Small Copper too, a lovely little butterfly I think.