As I set off, it was very quiet indeed, with not a single bird being heard to sing, and very few were calling or even showing themselves, the walk from my house to the Greenhouse Complex, which would normally yield 20 - 25 species turned up just 10! Of interest, they were, in order of appearance, COLLARED DOVE, WOOD PIGEON, SWALLOW, ROBIN, JACKDAW, GOLDFINCH, CHIFFCHAFF, CARRION CROW, GREENFINCH and GREEN WOODPECKER.
Once in the Greenhouse Grounds it was again very quiet, but this LINNET below was part of a group of 4 birds.
The scarcity of birds continued as I crossed through the pasture and paddocks of Migrant Alley, but I noted HERRING GULL , LESSER BLACKED BACKED GULL and a pair of STOCK DOVES go over. Next stop was the College Grounds, where thankfully there were birds! It always pays to get here early, before people arrive, the likes of this GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER was showing well,
As I walked through the grounds a mixed feeding flock of CHAFFINCH, GOLDFINCH, BLUE TIT, GREAT TIT, GOLDCREST, TREECREEPER, COAL TIT, Chiffchaff and of course the much photographed SPOTTED FLYCATHERS ( below) all chased about in a pair of large Oaks and the line of Pine trees.
The second part of my walk over to the Scrubby Woods and lake proved to be a pretty standard affair, although I did get a rare opportunity to photograph this KINGFISHER ( it's there honest!) It was some 35 meters away, on the other side of the lake :-)
Also on the lake were 12 GREYLAG GEESE, 4 CANADA GEESE, 6 MALLARD, and 4 MOORHEN, and as yesterday, the GREY HERON came in as I left for the Scrubby Woods. This SWALLOW was on the line as I entered the woods.
Not much was seen bird wise here, lots of BLACKCAPS about in the bush with all the berries on it, they were joined by a GARDEN WARBLER, a NUTHATCH called from nearby, while up above HOUSE MARTIN, Swallow and the only two SWIFTS of the day were seen. Of more interest in the woods today was the sighting of these butterflies
Above, Common Blue
Above and Below: Small Copper
This impressive Southern Hawker was also patrolling the area.
Next I visited the Tree Nursery, the WHITETHROATS were easily found, and this Common darter made for a good photo
However the bird of the day, was the last bird recorded, it was found on the run off pool at the bottom of the Nursery, I always thought I may find a wader here one day,on the muddy fringes, but the pool is hidden by trees and shrubs, so it seemed unlikely, but one did find it this morning, a superb GREEN SANDPIPER (102, 65)
Initially I flushed it up, and it flew off calmly without calling, so i thought it may return, I hid myself in the surrounding vegetation, and sure enough 15 mins later it was back, allowing a photo of sorts :-). I took just three, and then left the bird to feed, and carry on it's battle with the MOORHEN that was chasing it around!
The Sandpiper took the final tally for July to 65, which is the 3rd best July out of ten, joint with 2009, this is better than the July average of 63, though still 4 short of the peak of 69 recorded in 2007. Not a bad effort considering the poor weather we had a times. The combined list for the ten July's now moves to 86, the additions to list, made this month, were the Green Sandpiper and the Whinchat.