I spent a couple of hours this morning checking out the Greenhouse Grounds and the Greenhouse Copse, plus had a circuit of Migrant Alley and a brief look at the lakes and Scrubby Woods. I made a note of all the summer birds that were left, and they were few, just 1 WHITETHROAT was seen in the Greenhouse Grounds, with 1 Blackcap and a CHIFFCHAFF, another Chiffchaff was in the Greenhouse Copse, where I also found a LITTLE OWL perched up.
Two dozen SWALLOWS were feeding over the Sheep pasture at Migrant Alley, and were joined briefly, more than once, by a few HOUSE MARTINS. A YELLOW WAGTAIL sat on the fence line, but no Wheatear were seen, its been quite poor for Wheatear here so far this month, September is usually the best month for this species.
Over on the lakes a GREY HERON fished, and a few MOORHENS and MALLARDS were seen, a BLACK HEADED GULL came down onto the water, unusual to see them over the lakes, let alone on them!
In the Adjacent Scrubby Woods, I found NUTHATCH, GOLDCREST, COAL TIT and BULLFINCH of note, and the only summer birds were 3 more Chiffchaff and another Blackcap. I was hoping to find the Long tailed Tit flock, which might just contain a Marsh Tit with it, one normally turns up at this time of year.
I did my usual hours sky watch from my seat at Migrant Alley, which produced three raptor species, the KESTREL, a SPARROWHAWK and a HOBBY which was carrying an unfortunate Swallow :-( A few more Black Headed Gulls went over, as did a few HERRING GULLS, but the birds of the day for me were the MEADOW PIPITS (67). The first 4 birds of the Autumn flew over migrant Alley, they looked like alighting in the sheep pasture, but thought better of it, nice to here that ''seep seep seep'' call again :-) They are slighty late this year, the latest they have arrived here since 2005, the 12 year median average date for the Autumn arrival of the Meadow Pipit is the 8th September, so I cant complain really :-)
I tried to get some photo's of the birds at my garden feeding station this afternoon, but numerous Sparrowhawk attacks kept the birds very wary, plus the light was pretty awful in my shady garden. I did manage a few shots though, although the high ISO makes them a bit grainy, Still, it brightens the post!