Saturday, 30 April 2011

Only 90 minutes were spent out on my patch today, most of the morning was taken up with the Breeding Bird Survey, undertaken in the farmland adjacent to my patch, then going into Tunbridge Wells to pick up my new camera lens :-)

It was frustrating to see my first swift of the year while out doing the survey, also a Wheatear, but all was put right later in the day when my short trip around Migrant Alley provided me with not one, but two flyover SWIFTS (96,77), also noted were TURTLE DOVE and LESSER WHITETHROAT singing at the wooded Headland at the north end of Migrant Alley. A KESTREL and two BUZZARDS were seen going over.

So the month ends on a high after all, the Swift brought the months species total to 77, the best April yet ! Maybe it could have been higher still if Tawny Owl and Garden warbler had shown up, which certainly should have been possible. The combined April list for the ten years now stands at an amazing 102, it was incremented by just one this year, when that fantastic Ring Ouzel turned up. The mean species total for April is now 70, so I was well ahead of that too this year.

Tomorrow i'll be out early to start the May list, but it wont be as long as Aprils, the best may total is 72, achieved in 2009, and the combined May list comprises of 88 species, but it's a challenge i'll enjoy :-)

Later in the afternoon I tried out the new lens on the garden birds, I got lucky when the BULLFINCH dropped in on cue, it wasn't in the best position, but you have to take these birds when you can, they are extremely wary!

Above and below, male Bullfinch

The new lens is a Sigma, 120 - 400 stabilised lens, it wont make the photo's any better, but it sure means I dont have to get as close to the subjects as I used to! below is a GOLDFINCH on the sunflower hearts

This male BLACKBIRD was taking the fallen hearts to a nearby nest full of young.

Also, whilst out earlier, I found these mating Green Veined White Butterflies

Plus this immature Large Red Damselfly :-)

Friday, 29 April 2011

The last full patch walk of April took place this morning, tomorrow I will be doing a BTO Breeding Bird Survey just off my patch, so only a short patch visit will be possible.

I set out in cool, cloudy and windy conditions this morning, and was all out to find that single new species for the month that would equal the record April tally set last year, I still had a chance of Garden Warbler, or Swift, but maybe less chance of Hobby or Spotted Flycatcher, but they were the four most likely to be added.

I walked the Tree Nursery, Pub Field and Migrant Alley, en route to the College Grounds, before returning home for a halfway break. It was an average day, the expected birds were singing or calling, GREENFINCH, STARLING, COLLARED DOVE, WREN, ROBIN, JACKDAW, BLACKBIRD, GREAT TIT, WOOD PIGEON, LINNET, CHAFFINCH, and SONGTHRUSH were the first dozen birds on the daylist in that order.

The list grew steadily, as I added DUNNOCK, PIED WAGTAIL, CARRION CROW, WHITETHROAT, ROOK, LESSER WHITETHROAT and SWALLOW all before entering the College Grounds, where, the expected HOUSE SPARROWS were waiting for me, a HERRING GULL flew over and a MISTLE THRUSH sang from high up in an Oak, plus the regulars of GOLDFINCH, CHIFFCHAFF, MAGPIE, MOORHEN, MALLARD, BLACKCAP, GOLDCREST, it was a relief to find a BLUE TIT at last as well! I had 31 species on the list when I decided to make my way back home, but it was the next species that made the day, when a HOBBY (95,76) flew low and fast through the tree canopy of the college gardens, weaving its way expertly as it went, and that brings up 76 for the month, equal to last Aprils record effort, very pleasing indeed :-)

I added TURTLE DOVE, CANADA GOOSE, SKYLARK, GREY HERON, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, and PHEASANT on the walk back home via the wooded Headland at Migrant Alley and the Greenhouse Complex.

That didn't leave too many species to find on the second part of my walk through the Small Holding , Wet Woods and over to the Lakes and Scrubby Woods. only 9 in fact, the CUCKOO called from the Scrubby Woods, and one of the COOT pair was on the ornamental lake. The first LONG TAILED TITS seen on a full patch walk since the 21st, were also seen around the lakeside bushes. BULLFINCH, JAY, and TREECREEPER, were seen in the Scrubby Woods, and a KESTREL hunted above them, but I still haven't managed to locate a Garden warbler here yet. On leaving for home a GREEN WOODPECKER was feeding on the lawn of a nearby large garden, and a STOCK DOVE was heard singing from the Wet Woods, bringing the species total for the day to 46, not too bad, considering the likes of Greylag Goose, Nuthatch, Coal Tit, Sparrowhawk and Yellowhammer were not recorded today :-)

The only photo's I took today were of this Robin at my garden feeders, and this Common Blue Damselfly I found in the Tree Nursery grass.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

I took the above photo of the Fox last evening, as it came into the garden for food scraps, a bit of a rushed photo as you can see, ive cut off his legs and tail!

Back to today, and what a difference from yesterday, the sun was mostly hidden behind cloud, and a cold wind blew, this made the walk over to the Scrubby Woods today devoid of Butterflies, Damselflies and Dragonflies! Being an afternoon visit, not much was seen or heard on the bird front either, mind you it's always good to hear TURTLE DOVE, BLACKCAP, CHIFFCHAFF and CUCKOO all singing together, even if it was a bit sporadic :-)

I spent ages waiting for the Cuckoo to alight on the power lines that cross the Scrubby Wood where it likes to call from, and although it did briefly come down, it was away again as soon as I moved. I gave some of my rather good, ( if I do say so myself !) Cuckoo calls, which brought it zooming in to defend its territory, but again it was too fast for me, but after an hour of chasing around, I did manage a photo of sorts! It settled on the power lines, but behind the tree foliage so I couldn't focus on it properly

Very little else was noted this afternoon, the Coots haven't hatched out any young yet, and the second CANADA GOOSE nest is also awaiting the hatching day. I left for home, and visited the Tree nursery and Pub Field, the latter was empty and the former had a WHITETHROAT singing, and a SPARROWHAWK flyover, the run off pool on the boundary of the two fields had some MOORHEN young on it, the fifth species this year I have confirmed successful breeding for.

With the next 4 days off work, I hope things liven up a bit, I still need that one species to equal the record species tally for April, but just two days left to do it!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

This morning both KESTREL and SPARROWHAWK were seen up hunting over Migrant Alley as I walked in to work, but no migrants were seen on the fence lines.

This afternoon after work, the sun shone and a cool NE wind blew, I decided to spend my time in the shelter of the Scrubby Woods, and on arrival I was met excitedly by the Gardener of the adjacent large house, that owns the ornamental pond. He had found the COOTS nest and asked if I wanted to photograph it, I let him believe I knew nothing about the nest and let him show me through the garden. I took some photo's, but the nest was obscured by reeds, this is the first Coot to breed here in the 11 years ive lived in pittswood. The reason they have bred is that the large fish have been removed from the lake, ( on my advice)allowing for pond weed to grow and water life to return, in turn feeding the Coots, of course, I gave him the big ''I told you so'' :-)

Above: Coot on nest - never thought i'd say that!

I then spent an hour in the Scrubby Woods, the bird life was a bit subdued, CHIFFCHAFF, and BLACKCAP were the main songsters, and after a fruitless search for a Garden Warbler I turned my attention to the Butterflies, of which Comma, Red Admiral, Speckled Wood, Small Tortoiseshell, Orange Tip, Holly Blue, and Small White were seen. I also came across a superb Broad Bodied Chaser, and both Common and Azure Damselflies, my first ones of the year.

I left for home quite happy with the days finds, even if it was a rather birdless visit, but a stop off at the tree nursery had a bit of excitement, when I saw the Fox cubs moving amongst the nettles outside their den. I spent 15 mins creeping through sheep sh*t and nettles to try and get a photo of them, and I got a quick 3 photo's before the farmer and his dog came by to round up the sheep, the cubs bolted straight into their Den!

Also whilst at the nursery, I found my second BLACKBIRD fledgling, it was in the hedgerow, behind some rabbit fencing, as you can see :-)

Below is one of the fox cubs, worth getting stung and smelly for :-)

Above is a Red Admiral and below a Comma from the Scrubby Woods

Whilst this is the Broad Bodied Chaser also from the Scrubby Woods

These Two Damselflies were flying on the same patch of vegetation, the above I believe is a Common Blue and below is the Azure - I may be wrong, i'm not good with these little blue ones :-)

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

There was a HOUSE MARTIN over the College as I walked through on my way to work this morning, just the second one seen this year, and a few minutes later the female PEREGRINE flew low over as well, that's two species I didn't find over the long weekend! A SPARROWHAWK put up a group of STARLINGS at Migrant Alley on the way home, but not much else was seen here - too many doggy folk about :-(

It was still sunny, but with a cool wind as I set off for the lake area, approaching the lakes, I found my first fledged BLACKBIRD of the year, it posed a few photographic problems as it was in dense cover, but I did get the shot below :-)

Another species had fledged young as well, this family of 5 CANADA GEESE Goslings were happily following mum around the main lake, where I had to evict a trespassing fisherman, obviously couldn't read the 'Private, no fishing' sign!!

On the ornamental lake the COOT was seen, but no sign of breeding from it yet, also another pair of Canada Geese were here, but there eggs haven't hatched just yet.

A walk around the Scrubby Woods, was mainly to try to find a Garden warbler, but that was unsuccessful, BLACKCAP, CHIFFCHAFF, TURTLE DOVE and CHAFFINCH all sang, but it was generally quiet. I checked the SONGTHRUSH nest, and found they had fledged! Excellent news, and still time for another brood :-)

I finished up with a skywatch at Migrant Alley, but couldn't see any Hobby or Swifts for the year list, there wasn't much at all in fact, but two more Turtle Doves went whizzing through no more than 6 feet off the ground, and 3 SKYLARKS flew up from the sheep pasture, the most I have recorded since the winter.

9 Species of Butterfly were recorded; they were, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood, Orange Tip, Green Viened White, Small White, Large White, Holly Blue and Comma.

Monday, 25 April 2011

The last of the holidays today, so I was determined to get out early and find something new, but it just didn't happen today. The weather was a touch cooler with a slight breeze, and remaining sunny, however the birds were playing hard to get!

I only managed to scrape up 43 species this morning in the four hour walk, with species like Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Sparrowhawk, Yellowhammer and long Tailed Tit, of which I havn't seen for a few days now, all keeping themselves hidden.

The recently arrived TURTLE DOVES and LESSER WHITETHROATS were singing from the wooded headland at Migrant Alley, those, together with the CHIFFCHAFF, and BLACKCAP made for a great summer sound. There are now three Lesser Whitethroat territories on the patch, with room for maybe one more at the Scrubby Woods :-) Talking of which, there wasn't a Cuckoo calling from there today, or a Turtle Dove, but the latter may have just been hiding up. Nesting activity continues from the Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps here, but the Garden Warbler hasn't arrived yet, however I found another WHITETHROAT, the first seen in the Scrubby Wood so far this spring.

On the lakes, all was quiet, with the male CANADA GEESE keeping guard over their respective nests, one COOT was seen again, but no sign of the other, or any fledged young yet, 3 MALLARDS and two MOORHEN were also seen whilst I strained to try and hear a passage Sedge or Reed Warbler, both a rare on my patch, especially in the spring.

Flyovers were few as well today, just KESTREL, LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL and SKYLARK went over. A rather dull visit today, but it will pick up again, and as there is more holiday coming at the end of the week ( due to some wedding somewhere) that will give me more chance to increase the months, if not year list :-)

I also found photo's hard to come by today, but the reliable Speckled Wood Butterfly came to the rescue!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

After the showers of yesterday evening, this morning felt a lot fresher, and the smell of the damp, cool earth mingling with the wet vegetation was intoxicating, I love mornings like these :-)

So it was a pleasure to spend 4 hours out on my patch tracking down the 48 species found this morning. Amongst those, there were the usual encounters with the 'core' species, but I did miss Mistle Thrush, Coal Tit, Long tailed Tit and Yellowhammer today, however on the plus side there were the likes of LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL, GREY HERON, and YELLOW WAGTAIL, that aren't recorded every day, especially the latter! The visit was made all the more exciting for me when I heard the first NIGHTINGALE (94,75) of the year singing from behind the Greenhouse Copse, the first since this day last year in fact! A welcome addition to my year list, made the more satisfying as they no longer breed on my patch, and I have to rely on a migrant passing through now.

Just one more species now to equal the April record tally, and a species nearer to obtaining my fastest 100 species, which I have until May 17th to achieve.

I was also pleased to find one of the COOTS on the ornamental lake, after some time looking I might add, they are good at hiding! The SONGTHRUSH nestlings in the Scrubby Wood continue to be fed by the parents, whilst being surrounded by singing BLACKCAPS, CHIFFCHAFFS, CHAFFINCH, WRENS, DUNNOCKS and BLACKBIRDS, but not, frustratingly by a Garden Warbler yet.

I took a selection of photo's today, some better than others ( as always!)

Above and below a WHITETHROAT, this one resides in the Greenhouse Complex grounds

Below: A Jackdaw at Migrant Alley, no migrants there today though, alas!

Next a SWALLOW that alighted on the lines above Ashes lane, not quite in the right light - shame.

This JAY flew over the Tree Nursery, and I manged to get a flight shot

Lastly a photo of the Greenhouse Copse, where, whilst listening to the call of a TREECREEPER, the masterful vocal qualities of the Nightingale came wafting through.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

I was out at 06:30 this morning in temperatures that warranted just a tee shirt, amazing for late April, as I write this though, a thundery shower is dropping large hailstones, the first precipitation for weeks!

Most of this mornings patch walk was spent confirming just how many summer arrivals were residing on my patch, I counted a Min of 6 pairs of CHIFFCHAFF, 8 pairs of BLACKCAP, 5 pairs of SWALLOWS, 5 COMMON WHITETHROATS, one possibly paired up, 3 singing LESSER WHITETHROATS, two having arrived overnight, one in the College Grounds and one in the wooded headland at Migrant Alley. A single CUCKOO called for most of the morning, and two TURTLE DOVES sang, also from the wooded headland.

A couple of passage summer birds were also found today, which is always a pleasing aspect of my walks, a WHEATEAR was in the Tree Nursery, the second record from here this month out of the eight sightings, and a YELLOW WAGTAIL that flew over the College Grounds, calling loudly.

Other noteworthy flyovers were had from four GREYLAG GEESE, two GREY HERONS, 4 LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS, and 3 HERRING GULLS, whilst raptors were represented by the run of the mill SPARROWHAWK and KESTREL.

On the lakes today, 6 CANADA GEESE were seen, two on nests, also 2 male MALLARD, plus two MOORHEN as well as the male MANDARIN DUCK, back for the third day running, no sign of any Coots today though :-(

In all 49 species were seen, but nothing new for the month, the total of which remains two behind the best April tally of 76, surely I can equal that with a Swift and Garden Warbler in the next week ?

Above: One of the Greylag Geese. Below a GOLDCREST

This Large Red Damselfly was at my garden pond today, nice to see :-)

Lastly a Speckled Wood Butterfly, one of 6 butterfly species seen today

Friday, 22 April 2011

Another full patch walk this morning was much the same as yesterday, and that included this run of of unusually hot and settled weather, i'll enjoy it while it lasts though, we always have to pay for it later in the year :-)

The changes from yesterday morning were few, a new WHITETHROAT had arrived in the Tree Nursery, and was indulging in a singing competition with the original bird there. The CUCKOO was back on form, it called for most of the morning, over at the Scrubby Wood, and I had some distant views of it, plus today I did hear one of the COOTS, it was coming from the reeds, so maybe some activity at the nest ? The MANDARIN DUCK was again on the main lake, a distant photo was taken, and the two CANADA GEESE nests were being occupied, should be some young anyday now. I checked the SONGTHRUSH nest in the Scrubby Wood, and the two young looked healthy, they should fledge at the end of next week, maybe Wednesday, so fingers crossed for them.

Although 48 species were found, Long Tailed Tit evaded me today, as did the Turtle Doves , and few species flew over whilst I was out, just HERRING GULL, GREY HERON, and BUZZARD, plus the KESTREL which came and went.

I still await the first Swift and Garden warbler, the only migrants left to arrive that I have a chance of finding in April, but I might just have to wait until May for them.

Photo's today were all distant efforts, except this female BLACKBIRD, but that was constantly preening after it had been washing in a puddle made by a leaking hosepipe, and wouldn't keep still!

Below is the male Mandarin Duck, they always stay at some distance.

Below id the Whitehtroat that has made its territory in the Greenhouse Complex grounds

Lastly this Peackock Butterfly, I also recorded Holly Blue, Orange Tip, Small White, and Small Tortoiseshell

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Dawn Over Pittswood.

A five hour full patch walk from 05:45 onwards, was again undertaken in sunny warm conditions - once the sun was up and the early cloud had burnt away :-)

A total of 51 Species was recorded, amongst them were some newly arrived WHITETHROATS, there are now four singing, one along Ashes Lane, one in the Tree Nursery, one in the Greenhouse Complex grounds and one along the college stream. The LESSER WHITETHROAT has also been singing from the Greenhouse Complex Grounds for most of the day, and at least two TURTLE DOVES were heard, one from the wooded headland at Migrant Alley, and another from the Scrubby Woods adjacent to the lakes. One summer migrant that wasn't heard until early afternoon was the CUCKOO, strange, as they normally call constantly once they have their territory set up, it even becomes quite tedious to hear after a couple of hours!

On the lakes it was a case of CANADA GEESE, MOORHEN, and MALLARDS, but there were no coots! Maybe it was just hiding up, and the other was on her nest, I hope so! A bonus on the lake today was a male MANDARIN DUCK, which kept out of Photographic range.

In the Scrubby Woods, it was all BLACKCAPS and CHIFFCHAFFS, no Garden Warbler yet, and sadly no Nightingale, looks like another blank year on my patch for this species. I had a check of the SONGTHRUSH nest, and found two half grown young in it, a small brood, but with this very dry spell we are having I think the adult birds will have difficulty finding enough invertebrates for feeding even these two.

An hours skywatch at Migrant Alley around 10:30 produced flyovers by 2 BUZZARD, 1 YELLOW WAGTAIL, 1 GREY HERON, 1 SPARROWHAWK, and 4 GREYLAG GEESE.

I noted a few Butterflies today too, including my first Large White, the 11th species for the year. Later in the afternoon while trying to photograph the birds at the feeders, I found my first Large Red damselfly, but failed even to photograph that!

Oh well some you win etc... I did get a GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER photo though :-)

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

The incredible run of warm sunny days continued today, but I had to get to work this morning before I could enjoy it! I at least had the walk in to look forward to, and that proved enjoyable enough, for whilst I passed the Greenhouse Complex the first LESSER WHITETHROAT (93,74) of the year was heard, giving its hollow, rattle like song, a real delight to hear :-) As well as the Lesser Whitethroat, a TURTLE DOVE was also heard singing from the wooded headland at the Northern end of Migrant Alley, my first Turtle Dove song of the year :-)

The Lesser Whitethroat has arrived on my patch in a traditional breeding area, and has turned up 3 days earlier than the ten year mean arrival date, but two days later than last year. The year list moves onto 93, and with 4 more 'usually' seen migrants to come, Swift, Garden Warbler, Hobby, and Spotted Flycatcher, I should get to 96 by the first week in may, leaving me 3 species to find before the 17 May, which was the date I achieved my fastest 100 species for the year. The months list moves on to 74, just two short of the highest April total set last year, so that might well be broken with a bit of luck :-)

After work I went over to the Scrubby Woods, and boy was the sun warm! Far to warm to be walking around in, and the shade of the woods was very welcome. I checked out the lakes and looked in on the COOTS and CANADA GEESE nests, the Coots nest is now obscured by reed growth, so i'll not know if it's successful until I see the young. In the woods I was listening out for a possible Nightingale, they haven't bred here since 2007, but one was singing here last year, just for a single morning. I was also listening out for a Garden Warbler I had one pair here last year, so I hope i'll get them back. In the end neither were heard, in fact it was so warm that most birds had gone to cover, just a couple of CHIFFCHAFFS, BLACKCAPS, and CHAFFINCH were singing, with the calls of BLUE and GREAT TIT accompanying them, in the background, a NUTHATCH was also calling.

As I left the woods, I sought some shade, and whilst cooling off I looked across into the blue sky I noticed a large raptor, I got my bins onto it and saw it was a RED KITE !! Two sightings in two days, now thats something, and the third this month!

Above and below the Red Kite

Not great pics, that extender would have come in useful here :-) I watched it for some minutes, seeing that it was feeding on something as it floated around effortlessly, then as it rose higher 3 COMMON BUZZARD came to join it, they all interacted together up in the deep blue sky, what a sight it was! Then, another Buzzard came in and joined them, and a few seconds later so did a SPARROWHAWK, what a raptor fest!

I tried to get some photo's but they were too far up really, the specks on the photo below represent 3 of the Buzzards and the Red Kite, up to the right

I wasn't going to better that today, but just in case I did have a quick walk around Migrant Alley, but it was all quiet there today. Probably just too warm for most sensible things :-) I'm back on holiday for the next 5 days, so i'll have plenty of time to have a go at beating some records :-)

ROBIN in the garden, being sensible in the shade :-)

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

The change of tactics to do an evening visit rather than an afternoon visit yesterday, didn't go too badly, and it was more comfortable than the mid-afternoon heat from the sun.

I visited the freshly harrowed Pub Field, and found about a dozen PIED WAGTAILS on it, along with the usual ROOKS, JACKDAWS and the odd CARRION CROW, two LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS circled low over, but didn't come down to feed.

I did a circuit of Migrant Alley, in some lovely evening sunshine, and manged to relocate the WHEATEAR that had been found earlier in the day, two SKYLARKS were up singing and the sheep pasture had at least 6 SWALLOWS zipping over it, whilst in the paddocks a dozen LINNETS were feeding on dandelion heads.

This Mallard was on the run off pool adjacent to the Pub Field, and also I found a MOORHEN nesting there, I'm not sure there will be any water left for the young when they hatch though!

Back to today, and what a shambles it turned out to be!! I had re-arranged my holiday and taken today off, as I was expecting a delivery between 9 and 5, that delivery was going to be a new extender lens for my camera :-)

I manged to get out for a short morning visit before, 9 O'clock, which didn't go too bad, I heard a YELLOW WAGTAIL go over Migrant Alley, as well as another MEADOW PIPIT, and also found yet another WHEATEAR, but the time went fast and I headed home.

I waited for the delivery, 10 o'clock.....11 o'clock.....midday....nothing, how frustrating, it was beautiful outside too! I kept an eye on the sky from the front of my house, 1 o'clock came and went, then 2 o'clock, but my spirits were lifted somewhat when I spied a RED KITE low over Migrant Alley, it flew right over my Sky watching seat!! This is probably the bird seen earlier in the month. 3 o'clock passed by, still no delivery, and I resigned myself to not getting out at all this afternoon, 4 o'clock came and I was getting annoyed now! All day wasted!!

Finally at 4:30 my delivery arrived, and I excitedly open up my new lens, I could fit it and still get a walk in :-) WRONG!! the bloody thing didn't fit the the Zoom lens I had already! It was physically impossible to connect it to my canon 70-300 IS lens, the extender was a 1x4 Canon, so you would think there would be some chance of it matching, but no, I read the instructions again and again, I looked at it from above, from below and from the side, but it wasn't going to fit, what a piece of expensive junk!! I now have all the trouble of returning the thing!

At half past six I finally gave up and went out for a walk round Migrant Alley, but I wasn't at all focused ( no pun intended!) and I only took a photo of the Wheatear that had hung around for me all day :-)

The Wheatear.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Ho Hum! Back to work today :-( .

At least the weather is still favourable, again it was sunny and warm today, and as I walked into work across Migrant alley there was a light mist. I was on the lookout for a Whinchat, as scarce as they are here in the spring I might just find one, my Whinchat wasn't fourthcoming, however, at the north end of Migrant alley I heard a chak-chak-chak coming from the top of an ash tree some 30m away, I knew what it was going to be before my bins were focused on it, which I eventually managed to do after calming down - yes, it was a RING OUZEL (92,73), a cracking male no less, faaaaaaaantastic!!!!! This is only the second Ring Ouzel to visit my patch in the ten years of recording, the last was in October last year, also a male. Obviously this makes this my first spring record, Oh happy days :-)

On my return journey home, I again scanned the fields and fence lines, and was rewarded with yet another WHEATEAR, Migrant Alley has done well today! I hurried home and got my camera, but the Wheatear wouldn't let me anywhere near enough for a decent photograph.

I didn't stay out long, as i am changing my tactics today, I will go out this evening and see whats about, so i'll post on this evenings visit tomorrow.

I found this Speckled Wood in the Greenhouse Complex grounds, looks like a fresh one.

Below is a long distant photo of the Wheatear.

Above is a ROBIN and below is a BLACKBIRD, these were taken at my garden feeder, I was waiting for the male BULLFINCH to turn up, which it did, but it saw me move and was off like a shot, at one point I was just 2m from it, and had him in my camera view, but I was too slow, i'll get him eventually!