There wasn't much to put in my notebook as I walked the paddocks and sheep pasture at Migrant Alley, then checking the Greenhouse Grounds. An overflying pair of BLACK HEADED GULLS and 4 single HERRING GULLS were the only flyovers, but SPARROWHAWK and KESTREL were up hunting, upsetting the local SWALLOWS, I eventually saw the Sparrowhawk fly off over to the Greenhouse Copse with a prey item. CHIFFCHAFF, BLACKCAP and a WHITETHROAT were in the Greenhouse Grounds, along with the many ROBINS, DUNNOCKS, WRENS, BLACKBIRDS and PIED WAGTAILS, small family parties of both GOLDFINCH and LINNET were also flitting about the place.
I moved on to the Wet Woods via the Small Holding, the latter had a LITTLE OWL calling, but the former was very still, just MOORHEN and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERS were heard. I checked the lakes, where it was good to see the KINGFISHER on the ornamental lake, along with the MUTE SWAN and COOT family, plus at least 12 Moorhens, the other two lakes were devoid of birds, not even a Mallard was seen, until I spooked 4 MANDARIN DUCK from the tree overhang on the main lake, three of them looked like immature birds, the other a female.
Things warmed up in the Scrubby Woods, not just weather wise, as I sat and looked over the Oaks and Elder Trees, many BLUE and GREAT TITS were seen, along with COAL TIT, NUTHATCH and TREECREEPER, Blackcaps were gorging on the Elder Berries and before long I spied my first GARDEN WARBLER (95, 69) of the year doing the same, just as I forecast in yesterdays post :-) The year list moves on to 95 now, but it's been a slow old year, I will have some hard work ahead to reach the 100 mark, let alone my target of 109, which is the average yearly species count for the past 5 years. The July list is now the joint best ever, with 69 species being seen, equal to last July and the July of 2007, but with 8 days left of the month, surely I can find just one more new species, perhaps Turtle Dove or Lesser Whitethroat will show up, or maybe a passage Sand Martin will go over :-)
I again spent some time trying to photograph Dragons and Butterflies, and had some success :-)
This female Banded Demoiselle was a nice surprise find, I dont often see them here
Blue Tailed Damsels are not that common here, so I was pleased to add this shot to my collection
This Ringlet was a first for the Scrubby Woods, and only the third record for my patch
This Brimstone was a welcome sight, I dont get many images of these and haven't seen one since May. It becomes the 21st Butterfly species recorded this month :-)
The light was at a completely different angle in this shot
The nearby Buddleia bushes were laden with peacocks, Red Admirals and Comma's