A heavy shower at 06:00hrs took 40 mins to clear through, so I was late out this morning, it did remain dry throughout the 4 hour walk, but it stayed cloudy, with a gusty wind.
Unusually, the first bird on the list today was a CORMORANT, which I saw flying over my house as I left, this was followed by WOODPIGEON, GREAT TIT, and JACKDAW, as usual, but more of a surprise was finding two WHITETHROATS, and a BLACKCAP in the hedgerow along Ashes Lane.
A pair of SPARROWHAWKS were over the Wet Woods, seen as I followed a flock of 9 HERRING GULL heading west. A KESTREL was also up hunting over the Greenhouse Complex Grounds, mobbed by anxious SWALLOWS as it did so. The single WHEATEAR was still on the paddocks at Migrant Alley, and two MEADOW PIPITS went over heading south, then a GREY HERON flew over heading in the some direction.
The walk around the College Grounds was relatively unproductive today, just GOLDCREST, CHIFFCHAFF and two more Gull species that flew over, LESSER BLACK BACKED, and BLACK HEADED, were of any note. A few small flocks of HOUSE MARTINS went through on their way south, which made the list for the first half of the walk up to 39, thats 10 less than yesterday!
The visit to the Scrubby Woods and Lake area was the first proper visit made to this area for a while, but despite the wind, and grey skies, I was pleasantly surprised to here not only 3-4 Chiffchaffs in song, but also a WILLOW WARBLER, a real treat here anytime of year! A SPOTTED FLYCATCHER (63) was seen eating Elder berries, my first since Aug 21st, and the first one seen in the the Scrubby Wood ever! The lakes were a bit disappointing, but thats usual for this time of year, just MOORHEN, MALLARD and another Grey Heron were seen here, NUTHATCH, TREECREEPER and STOCK DOVE made up the days tally to a poor 43 species, with the likes of Coal and Long Tailed Tit, Songthrush, Great Spotted Woodpecker, and even Greenfinch missing from todays list!
Once home, predictably, the sun came out, and I was just thinking about another trip around Migrant Alley, when I noticed a sick GREENFINCH on the feeders, it was obviously suffering from Trichomanosis ( however you spell it!) . That put pay to the second walk, and I set to cleaning and disinfecting all my feeders, two hours later, all was done and the Greenfinch's were back as soon as the feeders were replenished. Sadly I had to destroy the sick bird to stop it re-infecting the feeders :-(
Below are some of the 25 strong flock that came in ( no wonder I didn't find any on my walk earlier, they were all here!)
Below is the only other photo I too today, also from my Garden
|Garden BLUE TIT|