Coming home this afternoon I saw what may prove to be the years last record of HOUSE MARTIN, as 6 flew S over the College Grounds. Nearing home 2 BUZZARDS were soaring low over my house, a great sight to see.
After lunch, I headed out for a trip around Migrant Alley, and to do some skywatching as it looked good for raptors. The circuit of the fields and paddocks was not as exciting as yesterday, the Stonechats have moved on already, but I did see 20 or so MEADOW PIPITS, and a YELLOWHAMMER, unfortunately little else was seen, due to a woman with no less than 5 dogs, all of them off the lead and charging about everywhere, while the super gobbed woman was shouting at them all, I hoped she enjoyed the countryside .
Fortunately this didn't affect the skywatch, which was well worth the effort when first 3 LAPWINGS (60) flew over, then seconds later a PEREGRINE (61) did likewise, two more for the October list ! The hoped for Lesser Black Backed Gull wasn't seen, but 5 BLACK HEADED and 3 HERRING GULL went over, as well as a GREY HERON and a flock of 7 SKYLARK.
I left Migrant Alley, and walked up the side of the Maize Stubbles in the Pub Field, where another Chiffchaff was seen, but little else of note. Going into the Tree Nursery I did a short Skywatch again, and saw the KESTREL, a few more Meadow Pipits, 2 LINNET, 4 PIED WAGTAILS and around 50 STARLINGS feeding on the Laurel berries again. I decided to walk through the small shrubs and trees, just to see if I could find my first Redwing skulking around, but no, it wasn't a Redwing I found, but a WHEATEAR (62), this is quite a late one on my patch, but not the latest, that title goes to one found on the 23 Oct back in 2003.
The months list is getting a real crack on now, 62 is the fourth best October tally, and is just 6 behind the record, set in 2008 and 2009. I mustn't get carried away though, it could all come to a screaming halt very soon :-)
Below are a few shots of the Wheatear, I love 'em :-)