Saturday, 2 July 2011

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.

This is one of the Long Tailed Tits that joined the throng

whilst below are some Spotted Flycatcher photo's, I took quite a few :-)

Skippers were everywhere this morning, the one below is a Large Skipper, the one above may be an Essex Skipper ? I'm not sure :-)


Jason K said...

A good selection of birds to tourt your month list off Warren...cracking photos too!

It looks good for Essex Skipper to me Warren. Although the antennae tips are not quite Inky Black they certainly arent the orangy-brown colour of a Small Skippers (in my opinion)

Anthony Miners said...

Great captures of the Spotted Flycatcher.

ShySongbird said...

Watching that mixed flock must have been quite special Warren.

Lovely photos of the Spotty Fly. Judging by the number of different people who keep seeing them there, I need to visit some churchyards :)

Also nice to see the Whitethroat, I've only ever managed one photo of one and haven't even seen one this year!

I hope those Coots haven't deserted you.

Marc Heath said...

Looks like an Essex to me too. some goods birds seen today and some nice shots of the day as well.

Rob said...

You can certainly see that young blackbird has been getting its beak into the fruit in your trials garden!

Anonymous said...

I agree, some great shots there, Warren.

Greenie said...

Warren ,
54 already , another great start .
I too really like the Sp.Fly shots .
Like you , I am unsure from your shot of the Small/Essex Skipper . Some Smalls can have very dark brown tips to the antennae . If I had to put money on the table , I would go for Small , simply on the tips not dark/glossy enough . But that's only my opinion !