The early brightness soon disappeared, leaving the rest of the 3 and a half hour patch visit cloudy, but remarkably warm and humid.
|Dawn Over Pittswood|
Invariably, the first dozen birds, on the list today were made up of WOODPIGEON, ROBIN, BLUE TIT, BLACKBIRD, CARRION CROW, WREN, JACKDAW, CHAFFINCH, GREAT TIT, DUNNOCK, GOLDFINCH and COLLARED DOVE, all seen along Ashes lane.
Crossing into the Greenhouse Complex, a few of the now scarce summer species were seen around the the Blackberry and Elder bushes, singles of WHITETHROAT, BLACKCAP, and CHIFFCHAFF were seen, and the first of many sightings of the mobile LINNET flock were had. A few minutes looking into the sky, soon produced 3 GULL species - HERRING, LESSER BLACK BACKED and BLACK HEADED, as well as the local SWALLOWS, a few HOUSE MARTINS and a bit more exciting, 2 SAND MARTIN.
I soon got into Migrant Alley, and was immediately treated to 8 MEADOW PIPITS, the first of a whole series of small flocks that moved through during the visit. I checked the paddocks and pasture, and found just the single WHEATEAR today, however, my attention was soon diverted to a call not head since early spring, SISKINS (60)! I wasn't expecting these Autumn visitors until later this month at the very earliest, but here they were, my earliest Siskins for my patch :-)
I next visited the College Grounds, and found the likes of PIED WAGTAIL, COAL TIT, GOLDCREST, NUTHATCH, and a TREECREEPER in full song, but the awesome sight of a PEREGRINE (61) flying over with its prey took center stage!
The rest of the visit was spent back out at Migrant Alley, and the Greenhouse Complex Grounds as I didn't have time to visit the lakes and scrub area today, ( I was visiting a fellow bloggers patch at ten) Here I added three more raptors for the day, HOBBY, SPARROWHAWK and KESTREL, also a CORMORANT that flew over, always a welcome sight here :-) Whilst I was in the Greenhouse Complex Grounds, at least two YELLOW WAGTAILS flew over, and a GREY WAGTAIL (62) dropped in to a small water storage area, this made up the trio of Wagtail species, good to get all three species in the same visit!
A very good total of 49 species for the visit, 3 of them new for the month, was very pleasing considering I only visited half my patch.
As I said, I later went to visit fellow Blogger Kieron, over at Offham, just a kilometer or two from my patch ( as the bird flies) where a three hour visit produced 39 species, not a bad tally for the most unproductive part of the day, being there earlier would have undoubtedly added another ten to that list. Thanks Kieron for a very interesting, and in some places nostalgic walk mate :-)