Tuesday, 4 October 2011

A change in the weather brought a change in fortunes today, my walk in to work, under a grey overcast sky, had me finding the first GREY WAGTAILS (52) of the month, they were noisily chasing around over at the College Stream.

After work, I headed off to the lakes and Scrubby Woods again, forsaking Migrant Alley, as it was all quiet there again when I passed through on the way home, before I left I noted another BLACKCAP in my garden, a male this time, very nice :-)

The walk through the Small Holding and Wet Woods ( which is now completely dry) on the way to the lakes was pretty quiet, just GREEN and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERS were of any note. Upon reaching the lakes I flushed up a GREY HERON that was fishing there, and a KINGFISHER was heard, then seen from afar. A count of the wildfowl came to 13 MALLARD and 8 MOORHEN. In the Scrubby Woods a LONG TAILED TIT flock kept me amused for a while, with them were two TREECREEPERS and a NUTHATCH, as well as the more usual BLUE and GREAT TITS.

After I had my fill, I decided on a quick visit to Migrant Alley via the Tree Nursery, the latter had a calling CHIFFCHAFF, and a KESTREL sitting on the boundary hedgeline, also very nice to see were two small groups of SWALLOWS 7 in one and 5 in the other all heading south west. As I entered Migrant Alley through the Greenhouse Complex, the flock of 20 or so LINNETS flew from the boundary hedgeline, but one bird remained on the wire, which when I looked at it through my bins turned out to be a WHINCHAT (53) !! Magnificent! Only my second October record of this species!

I settled down on my seat, after taking some Whinchat pics, which the light was dire for unfortunately, I had not even warmed the wooden planks when another new monthly species flew over - 14 CANADA GEESE (54), then before I could even write them in the book 17 GREYLAG GEESE (55) flew in the opposite direction, all very nice  :-)  Obviously things were moving, and the sight of 27 SKYLARK was a very pleasing record, the most I've seen hear for some years, they dropped from the sky and alighted in the sheep pasture, then disappeared from view. As I sat I scanned the paddock fences some 200 meters away, I thought I could see a small passerine on one of the fence posts, I suspected a Linnet, but to make sure I walked over to get a better view, but it was no Linnet, it was a WHEATEAR (56) a great new species for October, in fact when I scanned the paddock I found another  :-) I think I wrote of my beloved Migrant Alley a little early this year !

Well that's a bit more like it! You can keep the hot sunny weather, i'll take the cloud and breeze with the associated passage migrants anyday  :-)



Above is one of my usual Kingfisher photo's - 40 meters too far away!!


Tim James said...

Hi Warren. I share your frustration re the Kingfishers – I have yet to get anywhere close enough to capture a half-decent shot. – Tim

Warren Baker said...

Hi Tim,
I think a hide is the bset idea!

Like your sparrow shots by the way, very nice! I still cant post a comment on your, and many other blogs though :-(

Bob Bushell said...

I like the Whinchat, it's really good.

Marc Heath said...

A good attempt Warren, a difficult one to get near too. Good to see a Whinchat isstill knocking around.

Warren Baker said...

Marc, today was the closest Ive got to a Whinchat, but when in the Elder bush it was against what light there was, and when on the post there was no light!!

I liked your Osprey effort, very fortunate, had me wondering weather it landed in the right light or did you move round to get it like that. Unfortunately your blog is one I still cant comment on!

Dean said...

Whinchat, BAH!!! You must have had most of the population on your patch this year, Warren.

Warren Baker said...

Dean, Ive got a pet one, which I release on to Migrant Alley every few weeks :-) Heh heh heh heh

Alan Pavey said...

More Wheatear and Whinchat, great stuff, nice pics again mate!

Jason K said...

Cracking Whinchat Warren...it seems that you too had a good day today

Pete Woodruff said...

Warren....I have the remedy for not being able to post comments.

Sign out of your blog, then sign in again but MAKE SURE you don't have the 'stay signed in' box ticked when you do.