The fine weather finally came to end today, with the rain and wind moving in around lunch time - just as I finished work :-)
The walk in to work this morning was very quiet, not many birds about at all until I got to the College Grounds, where a few of the Tit species and GOLDCREST were beginning to gather.
The walk home was of a similar vein, nothing at all around the paddocks and pasture at Migrant Alley, not even the flock of Goldfinch's or Linnets, maybe there had been alot of disturbance in the area during the morning.
After something to eat and drink, I decided I would go out into the rain and try to find a Mistle Thrush, this being the only regular species left on my patch that I havn't seen yet this month, the best place to look would be over at the Lakes and scrub area and around some of the large gardens there. Passing through the Small Holding, and then the Wet Woods, I noted just a GREENWOOD PECKER, and a JAY ! Where have all the birds gone ?
Over at the lake there were 7 MALLARDS and 10 CANADA GEESE on the water, but in the scrub I found the birds. I could hear two or three BLACKCAPS singing a continual sub-song, and all sorts of birdy type whistles and clicks. Soon enough I found a large mixed feeding flock, all breezing through the many Elder bushes, picking off the ripe Berries. At one point I watched the birds leave one Oak tree and fly across a 30m gap to another Oak, I counted 184 birds go across!! I didn't count the first few, and many low ones that weren't silhouetted against the sky were missed. I reckon there were nearly 250 birds in that flock - incredible! The vast majority of them were BLUE and GREAT TITS, but I also noted LONG TAILED and COAL TITS, as well as GREENFINCH, CHAFFINCH, BULFINCH, BLACKBIRD, SONGTHRUSH, DUNNOCK, ROBIN, TREECREEPER, GOLDCREST, NUTHATCH and a GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, in with them all were a few migrant species, at least 15 BLACKCAPS, many CHIFFCHAFF, and a just one WHITETHROAT. The bird I wanted to see, the Garden Warbler, as I need that for the months list, was probably in amongst them, as was Lesser Whitethroat, but the flock was very mobile and I couldn't access all of the dense scrub to follow them, nor did I have enough time.
Being unsuccessful in finding a Mistle Thush, and now wet through, I decided to give Migrant Alley just one more check, but apart from many hundreds of HOUSE MARTIN wheeling over the Greenhouses, and a SPARROWHAWK trying to catch one, everything was very quiet, the Whinchats have finally gone. I might be lucky and get a passage bird through later this month, along with a Wheatear or two, so i'll still be checking those fence lines :-)
No photos today :-(