The weather behaved itself this morning, no wind or rain to speak of, and by late morning there were even a few sunny spells :-)
Another 5 hour full patch visit was quite a productive affair, with exactly 50 species being recorded, always a good total for a single visit on my patch, the only birds I could of anticipated seeing today, but missed, were the House martin, the Yellowhammer, and maybe the Lesser Whitethroat, which has now stopped its second bout of singing, I probably wont hear it again until next spring now!
My visit to the College Grounds to see the SPOTTED FLYCATCHER family was doubly successful, after finding the family seen yesterday, I then moved on, just 100 meters further, and found another family! The fledglings of this family were much younger, probably only just out of the nest this morning, what a result though, three pairs of Spotted Flycatchers on my patch !
The small trial gardens, also in the college grounds, were back in favour, with WHITETHROAT, BLACKCAP, and CHIFFCHAFF all picking of insects from the fruit bushes, while ROBIN, BLACKBIRD, SONGTHRUSH, and a lovely male BULLFINCH helped themselves to the fruits and seeds.
Walking back across Migrant Alley, I again looked in on the TURTLE DOVES at the wooded headland, much ''purring'' was heard but no young seen yet. A LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL and a group of 7 HERRING GULL flew over, as did a GREY HERON, and 13 GREYLAG GEESE had alighted in one of the sheep pasture fields since I passed through an hour earlier.
As I started to walk the second half of my patch, I was stopped by a lady on her bike, she knew who I was, as she is a reader of these pages, I must apologise to her if she is reading this as I forgot to ask her name - sorry! I carried on after a brief chat with her, through to the Small Holding, where I saw a LITTLE OWL fly through the orchard trees, only the second sighting of one this month.
Arriving at the Lakes, the CANADA and Greylag Geese were on the ornamental pond, with the same old MALLARDS and MOORHENS, but its always worth checking the water, you never know! In the Scrubby Woods a large mixed feeding flock of LONG TAILED, GREAT, and BLUE TITS moved through the groups of Oak trees, with them were NUTHATCH, TREECREEPER, CHIFFCHAFF and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, I watched and listened carefully, as I am expecting the return of a Marsh Tit any week now, thats if it comes back from its breeding area, one to two individuals have overwintered here for the past 4 years - fingers crossed! More Turtle Doves were heard, but there was no sign of any fledged young here either yet.
Not much else to report on the walk home through the Tree Nursery, both KESTREL and SPARROWHAWK were seen up hunting, and both Southern Hawker, and Brown Hawker dragonfly were seen, but only the former posed for a photo :-)
I tried for some photo's of the Spotted Flycatcher young again, but it was just too dark under the trees, and the shutter speed on the camera was down to one tenth of a second, far to slow for a sharp image. Here's the result anyway, the top image is one of the original family seen
The second image is of one of the very newly fledged family