There were long sunny periods and long cloudy periods today, with a cool NW wind, but the clouds drifted in from the SE !
It was the same South Easterly upper air movement that brought some Visual Migration across my patch whilst I was out this morning. Groups of WOODPIGEON were seen going South early on, while most of the morning SKYLARKS and CHAFFINCH'S moved Westwards in small flocks. SWALLOWS moved through in good numbers, anything from just 1 bird, to flocks of 20 went over SW, on one occasion 4 HOUSE MARTIN were seen with them, this went on all day long, until it was too dark to see them at 18:00hrs.
Apart from the Vis. Mig. there were a few other interesting species seen this morning, my first GREY WAGTAIL (74) of the month was at the College Stream, and even better, the first RING NECKED PARAKEET (107, 75) this year flew over the Lakeside Scrub area, I was hoping I might get this species on my year list, I generally see one or two a year :-) This addition to the year list gives 2010 the second best species tally so far, just two behind the record total achieved last year.
I was very satisfied with the morning as I left to go home, but it got that little bit sweeter when I spotted a RING OUZEL flying over the Greenhouse Complex and alight in a large pine tree, where I lost it in the dense branches, this must surely be the same bird as I saw last Saturday. I spent quite some time this afternoon scanning the same area from my bedroom window in the hope of getting Ring Ouzel on my house list, but it didn't reappear :-(
Other good species seen this morning were 2 and 6 FIELDFARE, two groups of a dozen REDWING, a group of 18 SISKIN and 3 raptor species, SPARROWHAWK, KESTREL and COMMON BUZZARD. Yesterdays large influx of GOLDCREST had mostly moved on, just two were seen in the Tree Nursery, and another two in my Garden this afternoon.
A male BLACKCAP was also seen in my garden this afternoon, eating the last of the Elder Berries, maybe it's a continental bird that will stay for the winter ?
Photo's today are of a LONG TAILED TIT, one of 14 that were in the Tree Nursery.