There was not the excitement of a year tick this afternoon, nor even a month tick, in fact the birding was very slow, the heavy cloud cover made it feel quite muggy and dull.
I walked over to Migrant Alley first of all for a bit of Sky watching as it's in these conditions that I always feel a large Raptor may drift over, it did, but it wasn't quite the one I wanted, instead of a Kite or Harrier, I got the more reliable BUZZARD, in fact there were two :-) I also saw a SPARROWHAWK and KESTREL up hunting. Only two Gulls went over, one each of LESSER BLACK BACKED and HERRING GULL, a GREAT SPOTTED WOOD PECKER bounded past and all the local SWALLOWS were feeding nearby. SWIFTS have very much reduced in number, maybe the vast majority have already migrated south now, they certainly become less recorded round here come the end of July.
I did a circuit of the pasture and paddocks at Migrant alley, just in case an early 'Chat' or Wheatear had dropped in, but no luck today, they generally don't turn up until the second half of Aug. I did see a few LINNETS, GOLDFINCH'S, a small flock of STARLINGS and a huge 200+ mixed corvid flock, mostly JACKDAWS.
I had a walk up the side of the Maize crop in the pub field, where CHIFFCHAFF was the only customer, and finished with a search of the Tree Nursery, this only had the WHITETHROAT family and another Chiffchaff skulking in the shrubs. Not a very exciting visit at all today! Even the Butterflies sat today out, only a few Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers and Red Admirals were seen, and of course the ever present White species :-)
In the gloomy conditions I didn't even point the camera at anything while I was out. The following photo's were taken in my garden at the feeders, still not enough light really though.
Above GREENFINCH (juv)