As is usual at this time of year, most of the bird action was around Migrant Alley. A few passage migrants had dropped in, the best of which was a WHEATEAR, it's been a relatively poor year for seeing this species so far, but there is still time to have a few more visit.
A LESSER WHITETHROAT was in the Tall Hedge that forms the boundary between Migrant Alley and the Greenhouse complex, and a COMMON WHITETHROAT was in the Greenhouse grounds, this is the joint latest date I have recorded the latter species, one was also seen on this date in 2004.
By far the biggest attraction at Migrant Alley, was the large number of HOUSE MARTINS that had gathered there, many hundreds of them. Some were on the fences, whilst others were speeding over the sheep pasture, with them were the local SWALLOWS, and a lone SAND MARTIN, but I think a careful scanning of the flock would have produced a few more of that species. Amongst all the swirling and diving Martins I could here YELLOW WAGTAILS at least two were out amongst the sheep, as well as 15-20 MEADOW PIPITS, it all made for quite a sight !
I dragged myself away to go and check the College Grounds, where a small feeding flock of birds were seen, made up of the usual suspects, BLUE, GREAT, COAL and LONG TAILED TITS, as well as TREECREEPER, GOLDCREST, CHAFFINCH and CHIFFCHAFF. By one of the ornamental ponds my first GREY WAGTAIL (71) of the month flew up, this species just about wraps up all the regular species i'm going to see this month, any additions will be hard won now, but I'm hoping for a Warbler or two yet.
Crossing back over Migrant Alley I heard a LITTLE OWL call from the Greenhouse Copse, and a only my second PHEASANT of the month was seen, whilst overhead three Gull species went over, BLACK HEADED, LESSER BLACK BACKED and HERRING GULL.
Very little was added to the day list on my walk through the lakes and scrub area, just about what was expected really, the likes of MALLARD, MOORHEN, BULLFINCH and NUTHATCH, as well as the SPARROWHAWK.
By the end of the walk I had accumulated 49 species, but the addition of MARSH TIT at my garden feeders and a COMMON BUZZARD that was seen going over my garden, the excellent total of 51 was achieved.
Above: At least 75 House martins were on this fence, They were quietly preening and stretching, not taking much notice of me at all. However, the local dog walker soon came yomping past, totally unaware of the wonder of all those birds, didn't even notice them ! Seconds later she had flushed them all up.
Further across the field I tried to capture the swarm of House Martin, but I didn't quite manage it !