Sunday, 14 August 2011

Well, today was the last day of my fortnights holiday, and of course, I spent it doing what I love doing most, birding my patch :-)

The weather couldn't have been kinder, it was warm and windless, with a light cloud cover, which allowed some sunny spells through at times. During the 6 hour visit, a total of 50 species were recorded, what a difference from the last few days!

Right from the off I was spoilt, when Migrant Alley gave up another of it's drop in passage migrants, this time an immature STONECHAT (69), I dont get these too often, this one is just the second this year, it's a species that has never occurred in August before, which gives me a bit of hope in my attempt of reaching the August record total of 78 species.

In the College Grounds today, at least 2 SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS were still present, BLACKCAP, WHITETHROAT, and CHIFFCHAFF were the other summer species seen there, and along with those the likes of COAL TIT, TREECREEPER and GOLDCREST were seen.

On returning back through Migrant Alley, 3 raptor species were seen overhead, first a KESTREL, then the SPARROWHAWK and finally a HOBBY, always good to get that trio on the same visit. Another surprise followed, shortly after i had filled my boots with views of the Hobby, when a YELLOW WAGTAIL (70) flew over and alighted in one of the paddocks, doubly good was seeing another two follow it down, excellent!

More Blackcap and Whitethroat were seen in the Greenhouse Grounds as I passed through, but more surprisingly a GARDEN WARBLER had joined them, obviously another passage bird. The passage migrant sightings continued as I walked the Tree Nursery, as I photographed butterflies I looked across the field and saw two SAND MARTINS fly through.

I only visited the lakes and Scrubby Woods for a short while, just to find the likes of NUTHATCH, and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER that weren't on the list as yet, but it was noticeable whilst there, the increase in Blackcaps in the woods, all fattening up on the sugar rich Elder and Blackberries, of which there are plenty of.

I finished up the day with an hours sky watching on my seat at Migrant alley, where as well as the many HERRING GULLS and LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS, I observed no fewer than 3 BUZZARDS circling together high up, four raptors in the same visit, thats good going here! The last birds seen were 3 SWIFT which flew purposely south-west wards.

Above and below, the Stonechat at Migrant Alley

Below are a selection of the little jewel like butterflies that frequent the Tree Nursery, I cant get enough of taking photo's of these :-)

Above: Common Blue. Below Small Copper

The last two are of the Brown Argus.


Marc Heath said...

A very nice Common Blue shot and well done with the Stonechat. I had 2 juveniles at Reculver today as well.

Jason K said...

Yellow Wag and Stonechat...not a bad day mate.

Love the Stonechat looks a very young bird

Warren Baker said...

Cheers Marc, Jason.
The Stonechat looked a bit 'lost' ! It didn't stay around long.

Rohrerbot said...

I love the common blue butterfly shot. Great pics.

Rob said...

Warren, Glad you finished the hols on such a good patch visit after yesterday's doggone experience.

Warren Baker said...

No dogs today Rob, what a difference in sightings :-)

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Superb juv. Stonechat shots .
Another two nearer .

Bob Bushell said...

Nice day to help you remember the end of your holiday, some of your pictures are brilliant, especially the Stonechat.

Pete Woodruff said...

Interested in your Stonechat pic which is excellent Warren. As you say they don't breed around your area any guesses how far this one came, not too far perhaps.

Anonymous said...

I don`t know about migrant, Warren. That Stonechat looks like it`s not been long out of the nest.
Well done all the same.

Alan Pavey said...

Well done Warren, nice to get some additions to the month list, nice photos too, the butterflies and the stonechat are great.

Kelly said...

Hi Warren! Glad the weather cooperated with you, and I love the little blue butterfly. It's an incredible shade of blue that spreads happiness! I have a bit of catching up to do (it seems to be the norm this summer as it's been so packed).