Excellent weather conditions prevailed throughout the morning for the first full patch visit of July, with clear blue skies and no wind :-)
The four and a half hour visit came up with 49 species, seven of which were additions to the July list. The SKYLARK (46) was the first of those, when one got up from the sheep pasture at Migrant Alley, the SPOTTED FLYCATCHER (47), seen in the College Grounds was the second, however the highlight of the morning for me was watching a mixed flock of LONG TAILED TITS, CHIFFCHAFFS, BLACKCAPS, WHITETHROATS, DUNNOCKS and BLACKBIRDS all feeding in a small trial plot in the College Gardens, where mainly soft fruit was being grown, but also a patch of weeds were present and a few rows of sweet peas, all in an area the size of a tennis court, but the birds found plenty to eat there, quite something to watch :-)
The next addition to the months list was found at the western end of Ashes Lane, where a YELLOWHAMMER (48) was singing from the adjacent field of ripe Rape. The Small Holding chipped in with the months list today by adding a LITTLE OWL (49), with the other three additions being seen at the lakes and Scrubby Woods area, they were CANADA GOOSE (50), COAL TIT (51) and MISTLE THRUSH (52), it was a bit worrying not finding a Coot again, have they left my patch ?
A subsequent visit later this afternoon, mainly to sit and watch for raptors over on my seat at Migrant Alley was a success, with 4 raptor species being seen KESTREL, SPARROWHAWK, BUZZARD (53) and Peregrine, I watched the Sparrowhawk flying low and slow, seemingly struggling with a large prey item, as I followed it in my binoculars, the Peregrine came diving in from on high, but didn't manage to steal the Sprawks breakfast! The last species for the day to be added to the July list was a flyover HERRING GULL (54), that just about wraps up all the most commonly seen species on my patch, it will be harder from now on to add to the months list.
Above is a young Blackbird, one of several feeding at the trial garden in the College Grounds - Below is one of the Whitethroats which also fed there.