Saturday, 20 August 2011

This mornings full patch walk, in partly cloudy but warm conditions, started slowly, but picked up a bit as the morning wore on.

The first of 3 single HOBBIES was the 11th bird recorded today, it dashed through some large gardens at the edge of Migrant Alley, where there was no sign of any of the four Wheatear seen yesterday, however there were some YELLOW WAGTAILS, 3 fed out in one of the paddocks, and another two flew over from the west, calling loudly all the time.

In the College Grounds a few of the summer species were found, CHIFFCHAFF, BLACKCAP and just a single SPOTTED FLYCATCHER, along with with a few GOLDCREST and my first MISTLE THRUSH for ages! The best find here though, was of no less than three GREY WAGTAILS hanging around one of the water features in the gardens.

Crossing back through Migrant Alley, two SAND MARTINS flew over, along with hundreds of GREYLAG and CANADA GEESE. The KESTREL and SPARROWHAWK were up hunting, and 3 Gull species were seen going over, HERRING, BLACK HEADED, and LESSER BLACK BACKED. A GREY HERON slowly flapped its way southwards.

The visit to the Lake and Scrubby Woods was poor in comparison to earlier in the day, a rowing boat full of noisy kids was on one of the lakes, explaining why I only recorded a single MOORHEN and a MALLARD on any of the water bodies. In the Scrubby Woods, COAL TIT, NUTHATCH and BULLFINCH were the best of the bunch, but I couldn't find Treecreeper or Long Tailed Tit today, the later has been really scarce on the patch this month.

As it was so quiet at the Scrubby Woods, I had another trip around the Tree Nursery, as I had seen little there very early on in the visit, the first WHITETHROATS of the day were found here, also a LESSER WHITETHROAT, maybe the last of the year ?

The morning ended with a good total of 51 species, without the Treecreeper and Long Tailed Tit, also believe it or not a Songthrush!

Above: One of the Grey wagtails at the College Grounds, below one of the many Canada Geese that went over :-)

After my 5 hour walk, I sat in my garden, having a drink and bite to eat, when this little chap came in to feast on the Elder berries - My third record ever of a Spotted Flycatcher in my Garden - fantastic!

Also, a little later, what pops up, yep, a SONG THRUSH, the first in my garden this year!

Also, inescapable, was the sound of more young GOLDFINCH'S coming in to the sunflower feeders, some like the one below had just left the nest.

Later, I had a quick outing around the paddocks of Migrant Alley again, just for an hour, the sun had just come out, and the sky cleared to blue, allowing for some Butterflies to be seen, Brown Argus, Small Copper, and Common Blue, as well as Small Tortoiseshell, Gate keeper, Meadow Brown, Holly Blue and all the 3 white species. Like an idiot, I thought I would leave my camera at home as I would only be gone a short time, a decision I regretted even more so when I found another WHEATEAR on the fence line, and got to within 3 meters of it! As I watched it, the Wheatear kept eyeing the sky, my curiosity roused, I did likewise, and saw two COMMON BUZZARDS being mobbed by a Sparrowhawk! Clever little Wheatear :-) The Songthrush, Buzzard and Wheatear took the days list to a huge 54 species - brilliant!


Bob Bushell said...

I have not seen even one Grey Wagtail at all this year. I'm losing it. Great photos Warren.

Pete Woodruff said...

Spotted Flycatcher in the garden Warren....WOW!!

Chris said...

Well I can see where the wheatear went ;-) I've seen very few these days but still some. It looks like a desert over here, all birds are gone already!!

Anonymous said...

A good day was hd then, Warren. Nice one.