This morning the weather was dire, misty, drizzly and at times rainy, but there was at least, not a breath of wind :-)
Despite the conditions, there were still some good sightings to be had around the patch. At Migrant Alley I came across yet another WHINCHAT, i'm having an excellent Autumn for these brilliant little birds :-) Also at Migrant Alley, a SEDGE WARBLER was seen in one of the excuses for a hedgerow, the cover provided was barely adequate to conceal it, probably the reason I found it!
Three CORMORANTS flew over the Greenhouse Complex, where the KESTREL was hunting again, around the Tall hedge and Greenhouse scrub two WHITETHROATS and a few CHIFFCHAFFS were feeding on the berries.
Over at the lakes and Scrubby Woods, the water only held two MALLARD and a MOORHEN family, but the woods had come to life, with a mixed feeding flock made up of CHAFFINCH, BULLFINCH, BLUE TIT, GREAT TIT, COAL TIT, LONG TAILED TIT, NUTHATCH, TREECREEPER, more Chiffchaffs, and at least 6 BLACKCAPS, best bird seen with them was a GARDEN WARBLER.
The dreary conditions slowly cheered up, and by midday some sun was peering through the broken cloud, encouraging me to make another visit to Migrant Alley. I mainly went to try and see if the Whinchat was still around, so as to try for some photo's. On the way I stopped to photograph a Gatekeeper, and as I did so, a Painted Lady Butterfly flew past, only my second one this year. Moments later I heard the honking of a Goose, I looked up and saw a BARNACLE GOOSE (73) fly low over, no doubt the one that visits here on occasions, a bit of plastic months tick, but i'll take it :-)
After that bit of excitement :-) I walked round to the paddocks, where I quickly found the Whinchat, but it wouldn't allow any sort of approach, but as I looked at it through my bins, I noticed another bird further up on the fence line, a WHEATEAR! It dropped down on to the paddock, I followed it in my bins and saw another Wheatear, then another, and another still, four Wheatear!! Good job I visited Migrant Alley for a second time! I noticed one of the Wheatears was a cracking male bird, and as it was the nearest one to me, I crept up on him and took a few photo's, so much better looking than the dowdy immature birds ive been seeing so far :-) Just to top off the visit, a HOBBY and SPARROWHAWK performed SWALLOW hunting acrobatics over the sheep pasture.
So again, i'm afraid, its Wheatear photo's today, but they are the flavour of the month :-)