Saturday, 16 July 2011

To get the most of the sunshine yesterday, I made an evening visit over to Migrant Alley for an hour, where I watched the SWIFTS and SWALLOWS mostly, and counted the PIED WAGTAILS coming into roost at the Greenhouse Complex, 36 were seen coming in, mostly from the east of my patch. Whilst there, I was rewarded with a SAND MARTIN (61) it fed with the Swallows for a while before continuing on it's southerly migration, good to get the month list ticking over again, it's languishing in joint 7th place out of the ten years so far!

Windy and wet conditions spread across our region today, making for a pretty dire full patch visit. I just managed to get all the way around my patch before the heavier rain came down, but I didn't spend long in any one habitat, and was only out for 3 hours.

Of the 45 species recorded, the one that stood out the most was a splendid KINGFISHER, seen at the College Grounds, it perched just 10 meters away from me, but I had no camera today, hmmmmm....typical! Also at the College grounds were two TURTLE DOVES, one was perched on the bench where I photographed it last month. SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS were having a hard time finding insect prey in the conditions, I hope they find enough for their young ones, I heard just one calling from the canopy of an Oak. WHITETHROAT, BLACKCAP and CHIFFCHAFF were also recorded in the College Grounds, the only other birds of note were flyovers from both LESSER BLACK BACKED and HERRING GULLS.

The weather deteriorated further as I neared the Scrubby Woods and Lake area, but in the windy wet conditions I managed to find most of the woodland species, COAL TIT, LONG TAILED TIT, NUTHATCH, TREECREEPER and a recently fledged BULLFINCH, at last I can add this species to the 'successfully confirmed breeding' list.

On the water, there were 8 MALLARD, 4 MOORHEN, (a newly fledged chick was with one of them), also there were 22 CANADA GEESE and 3 GREYLAG GEESE. It wasn't long before the rain turned really heavy and I headed for home, not the greatest of July days!

At around 4:30 this afternoon the rain ceased, and even the odd flash of sunshine was had, my cue for a short walk over and around the Greenhouse Complex, the normal suspects were found BLACKBIRDS, DUNNOCKS, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, a family of WRENS, and a family of SONGTHRUSH'S, they seem to like this area, probably because it's so damp with all the run off water from the Greenhouse rooves.

The visit also provided a photo for the post, when this female CHAFFINCH dropped down in front of me to feed on the weed seeds - a bit of luck :-)

I also saw this Juv GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER hiding up in the branches of a leylandi, but it was a bit dark in there :-)


Tim James said...

Great to see both a Great Spotted and Green Woodpecker over the past two days; haven't seen either around here for some time.

Bob Bushell said...

Its the weather, terrible wet stuff. But, you did take the Chaffinch and Woodie.

Marc Heath said...

Not a good day for the birder was it? Hopefully this weather might drop something in for us!

Tim James said...

Lousy weather or not the Greenfinch shot is beautiful. Wonderful colours and detail.