I made a full a patch walk, taking 4 hours to get round and found a total of 48 bird species, which is good going here for July. Early in the visit, several small groups of BLACK HEADED GULLS flew over Migrant Alley, as did small numbers of HERRING GULLS and a couple of LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS. A dozen or so SWIFTS fed over the sheep pasture, at times mixing in with the local SWALLOWS, but nothing else was noted in the sky today. Whilst on my circuit of Migrant Alley I came across the SPOTTED FLYCATCHER (65) pair at the Wooded Headland, the first sighting of this species this month, they must be the ones from the college grounds, I looked to see if there were any young with them, but there didn't seem to be any about.
The Greenhouse Grounds was quieter than of late, but the summer species of CHIFFCHAFF, BLACKCAP and WHITETHROAT were present, as were at least 3 of the recently fledged KESTRELS.
Over in the Wet Woods and Scrubby Woods, NUTHATCH, GOLDCREST, JAY, MISTLETHRUSH, TREECREEPER, plus GREEN and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER were all seen, and I finally found a couple of recently fledged BULLFINCH to add to the 2014 successfully bred list :-)
On the lakes a dozen CANADA GEESE, two GREYLAG GEESE a few MALLARDS and MOORHENS plus the COOT and MUTE SWAN family were present.
Heading through the Small Holding, I had the fortune of finding two more Spotted Flycatchers, this time I found at least two newly fledged young with them, I watched for some time as the adult birds caught insects and fed the youngsters, I knew there were a pair around here, but they have been pretty hard to locate, probably breeding in one of the large gardens, good to see a successful pair though :-)
Right at the end of my walk, as I walked along ashes Lane, a RING NECKED PARAKEET was seen flying over.
The camera stayed at home this morning, but I had an hour out with it early this afternoon, as the sun had decided to shine, I visited the Greenhouse Grounds to look for butterflies, which is just about the only place left for them on my patch now, after seeing this morning that the Ashes Lane Fields have been completely mowed, removing the large thistle bed, and anything in it, plus all the wildflowers, grasses, bramble, the lot - what a waste, all in the name of tidyness, makes me wonder how long i'll keep visiting my patch :-(
Probable Essex Skipper