Yesterday afternoons visit failed to turn up the single species necessary to equal the best June total of 68, but the 67 I did record this month made it the second best June out of the ten, and easily more than the ten year average for June which is 63.8. Two species new to any June turned up, the COOT and the SAND MARTINS I saw the other evening, these being the earliest ever returning Sand Martins on my patch, the combined June species total now stands at 85, which is surprisingly 1 better than August, I think August still has the potential for more species!
Back to today, and a new month beckons, the challenge for me this month is to beat 69 species, a total that was recorded in 2007, the nearest I got to that was 66 back in 2008, so it seems to be a challenging record to beat!
The walk to work this morning started the count off well, with ROBIN, GREAT TIT, GREENFINCH, SONGTHRUSH, GOLDFINCH, COLLARED DOVE, STARLING, SWALLOW, LESSER WHITETHROAT and BLUE TIT all getting in the note book early on. LINNET, CARRION CROW, PHEASANT, DUNNOCK, BLACKBIRD, WOODPIGEON, CHAFFINCH, WREN, WHITETHROAT and a GREY HERON that flew over the fields at Migrant Alley brought up the twenty species mark. The flock of ROOKS, and the TURTLE DOVES were also recorded at Migrant Alley, while the walk through the College Grounds added, HOUSE SPARROW, JACKDAW, PIED WAGTAIL, MAGPIE, BLACKCAP, and GOLDCREST, but I failed to find the Spotted Flycatchers :-(
Walking back home, just CHIFFCHAFF and SWIFT were added to the list initially, but as I neared home, a GREEN WOODPECKER called from the Tree Nursery, and a LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL flew over. During lunch I added a SPARROWHAWK which visited the garden feeders.
This afternoon it was over to the lake and Scrubby Woods, the water was a bit disappointing, with only MALLARD, and MOORHEN seen, but two Grey Herons were also fishing in the shallows, always good to see. In the woods, the months list was bumped up further with sightings of JAY, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, LONG TAILED TIT, TREECREEPER, and the 40th species for the day NUTHATCH. I heard a couple of BULLFINCH call, and whilst writing that in my note book I heard a commotion above me, I looked up and saw a mixed flock of Swifts and HOUSE MARTINS taking evasive action from a PEREGRINE, an excellent addition! The June list was incremented by just two more species on the walk home when both STOCK DOVE and KESTREL flew over, making a good start to the month of 45 species.
Photo's were easier to come by than of late, with some good sunny intervals providing good light, below is a Chiffchaff
and here's a recently fledged Dunnock
Damselflies were out today as well, with this Blue Tailed below
as well as the more numerous White- Legged
These Grasshoppers were ''pinging'' up in front of me continually whilst I walked the Tree Nursery