Saturday, 18 August 2012

Dawn, 18th Aug.
I was up before dawn for this mornings full patch walk, the weather was forecast to be hot and humid, so I wanted to avoid the worst of it.

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  :-)
Spotted Flycatcher
Common Darter


Steve Ashton said...

A nice sun rise Warren.

Marc Heath said...

That sure was hot today Warren. I'm just getting my swimming trunks ready for tomorrow in case I need to take a dip in the sea to cool down. Good to see you up before dawn, the best part of the day.

Rohrerbot said...

Now that would get me out of bed:) Today I kinda slept in but I had to rush off to bird before it got too hot. That's a great sunrise shot.

Something in your post makes me think because this random ditty entered my mind today. Would you ever put a picture book together of all the different birds you've found over your photography time recording the various birds? I've thought about it, but it would be a huge undertaking. Have a good Sunday!

Dean Stables said...

What can i say...other than ACE pics again Warren.

Christian said...

Still not managed a dawn get up this year - well done to you sir!

ShySongbird said...

Nice photos again Warren, I particularly like the one of the Common Darter.

Lovely photos from your garden on the previous post too.

Hope you have a great holiday!