Heavy and prolonged showers this morning gave way to slightly dryer conditions this afternoon, with just the odd flash of sunshine, however, a near gale force wind was blowing, making for another poor afternoon patch visit.
With everything still wet, and with the cool temperatures, the only Butterflies seen were Small Whites, Meadow Browns, and a single Speckled Wood. I didn't fare too much better with the birds either, a trip over to the Lake Scrubby Woods was notable only for a mixed feeding flock that passed though the trees I was sheltering under, it comprised of BLUE and GREAT TITS, GOLDCREST, CHIFFCHAFF, TREECREEPER, NUTHATCH and BLACKCAP. four JAYS were seen together, and I saw enough of one to confirm it was a youngster, although quite advanced, it qualifies as successfully confirmed breeding on my patch.
On the Lakes two MALLARD, two MOORHEN, and the mixed family of CANADA and GREYLAGS were seen, but a search for a Coot was in vain, I wonder why they left ?
I also had a short walk around Migrant Alley, just in case the wind had blown in an early Chat or Wheatear, it hadn't, but it was exciting to see a BUZZARD go low over. I also saw a single SKYLARK, a species that is rapidly disappearing from the fields and paddocks here, it has been recorded on just 69.3% of my full patch walks so far this year, compared with 79% in 2010, and 91% in 2009, it has rarely been seen in more than ones or two's all year, and has not been seen in more than a flock of 12 since 2007.
Fingers crossed for some more July like weather for tomorrows full patch walk!