|Dawn, 18th Aug.|
This would be the 75th full patch walk of the year, and looking at my stats, there are 19 species of bird that have been recorded on 100% of those visits, I reckoned on finding between 44 and 48 species for today, which in the end produced just that - 46 species :-)
I was a little disappointed in not adding any species to the months list, a Cormorant being the most likely, but i'm sure i'll add a few more by the months end. Initially the visit was very quiet, not much was about before the sun rose, a LITTLE OWL was seen in a large Garden adjacent to Migrant Alley, and a SPARROWHAWK glided over in full hunting mode. A steady stream of HERRING GULLS headed for a field of stubble just of my patch, and by the end of the visit a gathering of some 150 birds were there, mixed in with them were a few LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS as well.
As is quite often the case, the College Grounds held a good variety of common birds, the summer visitors among them included SPOTTED FLYCATCHER, CHIFFCHAFF, BLACKCAP and SWALLOWS. Young BULLFINCH were also seen, plus a family of GOLDCREST.
Walking back from the College, I stopped off at the Greenhouse Grounds, to find the WHITETHROAT family, I was too early for them on the first pass! A few PIED WAGTAILS left the roost in the greenhouses, and a KESTREL was up hunting, a stunning male YELLOWHAMMER flew form cover, not stopping for a photo though.
It was already feeling very warm in the sun by 08:30hrs, and the shade of the Small Holding and Wet Woods was welcome, here I found a couple of NUTHATCH, a TREECREEPER and COAL TIT amongst a feeding flock of BLUE and GREAT TITS, plus the odd CHAFFINCH and Chiffchaff.
The lakes had 6 CANADA GEESE, the BARNACLE GOOSE, 2 MALLARD and 4 MOORHEN today, but the Scrubby Woods was eerily still, just a few WRENS, ROBINS, DUNNOCKS, BLACKBIRDS, SONGTHRUSH and a couple more Blackcaps. A group of four HOUSE MARTINS few over whilst I was looking looking up for a possible Buzzard, shortly followed by a GREY HERON. By 10:00hrs, after four and a half hours out, the sun was hot and the humidity too much for me, so with the bird sightings dwindling by the minute I called it a day.
A standard type visit then for the first of my holiday walks, better to come I hope :-)