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 :-)