A dismally grey morning, with spells of drizzly rain made the patch visit rather unenjoyable today, this was compounded by the lack of birds, but I did expect there to be fewer about as most of the Summer migrants have now moved south.
Having said that, my forecast of 40-43 species was just about surpassed, mainly due to the sighting of three Gull species, LESSER BLACK BACKED, HERRING and BLACK HEADED all of which helped bolster the total to a creditable 45. The Gulls all passed over Migrant alley to join a huge flock of around 500 of them, which were feeding in a recently ploughed field to the SW of my patch.
The list was also enhanced by a few species that are not seen regularly around my patch, such as a flyover CORMORANT, a KINGFISHER in the College Grounds, a LITTLE OWL in the Greenhouse Copse and a GREY HERON on the largest of the Lakes. Also, there are now the recently arrived MEADOW PIPITS , at least a dozen of which were chasing about in amongst the sheep.
The summer migrants that were recorded, were made up of 4 BLACKCAPS and two CHIFFCHAFFS seen in the lakeside scrub, plus the local SWALLOWS feeding over sheep pasture at Migrant Alley, but an impressive number of
HOUSE MARTINS were were also seen higher up over the Sheep pasture, and generally in the surrounding sky, at least 250 were milling about all the time I was out, probably waiting for the weather to clear before moving on south.
A short afternoon visit was made through Migrant Alley, but all was quiet, the day seemed to have got even darker, and apart from adding KESTREL and HOBBY to the day list, and again watching the mass of Martins feeding up for their long trip south, it proved uneventful.
Other birds of note seen in the lakeside scrub and Wet Woods were NUTHATCH, TREECREEPER, MARSH TIT, GOLDCREST and COAL TIT.
The conditions again prevented any photography :-(