This morning was a much more pleasant day in which to walk to work, with little wind and lot of sunshine. Walking through Migrant Alley, three single YELLOW WAGTAILS flew over, at intervals of roughly a minute between them, but the big news of the morning was a little brown bird I saw flit from the long grass below the fence line, and into a patch of thistles. I slowly sneaked up to the thistle patch and got some real good views of a GRASSHOPPER WARBLER ( 135, 105, 65), A patch tick! - fan-bloody-tastic!! It even came out of the thistles and sat on the lower fence rail, just 3 feet from me, and in a lovely warm light, but I had no camera as i was going to work! I felt elated and really peeved at the same time. :-) At last though, I had got my first patch tick of this year, I thought maybe this would be my first year that no new species were added to the patch list, which at 135 is quite a remarkable total, given that my patch has very little water, and few decent bits of habitat.
Walking back through Migrant Alley on the way home, was a bit of a blow, as work was being done on the very fence line where the Gropper had been :-( , plus the dog grooming school were walking six dogs round the adjacent field, so no Gropper was relocated, nor for that matter, was anything else.
I quickly had something to eat, then headed off out again to Migrant Alley, just to make sure I hadn't missed anything, there were 3 COMMON BUZZARDS soaring overhead, and dozens of MEADOW PIPITS coming and going from the sheep pasture, there were a few SAND MARTIN and HOUSE MARTIN going through, but there were no passerine passage birds, even the Wheatear have departed :-(
I decided to make a trip over to the lakes and scrubby woods, and on the way through the Tree Nursery I had my first TURTLE DOVE (66) this month fly over, a good species to find here in September! Once at the lakes I scanned the water, but the only thing of note was a GREY HERON. Another species I havn't seen so far this month suddenly appeared as I entered the Scrubby Woods - a PHEASANT (67), phew, I thought I wasn't going to find one this month!
Whilst in the woods, I found a nice sheltered glade, out of the wind, and was pleased to see some Butterflies, COMMON BLUE, SMALL COPPER and maybe a BROWN ARGUS, but it was a bit tatty and it could have been a female Common Blue - (see photo) As well as the Butterflies, some good woodland birds were seen whilst I was there, up to 8 BULLFINCH, 2 BLACKCAP, 3 CHIFFCHAFF a TREECREEPER and a few CHAFFINCH were feeding in the Elder and Blackberry bushes, whilst BLACKBIRDS, ROBINS and DUNNOCKS were on the wind fall apples, which gave off the lovely smell of cider as they lay in the sunshine