The above photo shows the dreadful conditions this morning, drizzle, low cloud and a stiff breeze, late in the afternoon it couldn't have been more different, the sun was out and the temperature was in the mid 20's C !
Unsurprisingly, in the conditions, very little of note was seen, in the 2 hours I spent walking over to the College grounds and back, just 32 species were recorded, most of those were only heard or glimpsed, it really was quite dire.
I left the second part of the walk until the afternoon, hoping for some improvement in the light, but the low cloud had only lifted slightly, and only another ten species were added to the list. It would be hard to pick out any highlights, but the LESSER WHITETHROAT was singing in the Greenhouse Grounds, I always enjoy its rattly song, 20 odd SWIFTS were hawking for insects in the humid air, and of course I cant take the COOTS for granted over on the Lakes, this is after all the first June they have been present :-)
By 3 o' clock the sun had finally started to break through, and the temperature shot up, although the wind was still brisk, so i went back out for a walk around the Tree Nursery for a butterfly hunt. I mostly found Small Skippers and Meadow Browns, but a Tortoiseshell, Small and Large White and a Green Veined White also showed up. There were also large numbers of White-Legged Damselflies about.
Whilst hunting for Butterflies, I added KESTREL, LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL and an immature BLACK HEADED GULL to the day list, bringing it to 45 species in the protracted days visit. Tomorrow is forecast to be blue skies and scorching hot, so i'll be out at the crack of dawn to avoid the heat, as will, I suspect, most of the sensible birds :-)
I did take the camera out eventually, and this CHIFFCHAFF posed briefly
I thought this Skipper below could have been an Essex Skipper, but i'm not so sure now, looks like a Small.