I covered most of my patch in the five hours I was out, finding a total of 46 bird species, nothing too much out of the ordinary though. It was good to see a couple of BULLFINCH at the Greenhouse Grounds, where a WHITETHROAT family plus one KESTRELwas seen. Nothing had dropped in at the paddocks and sheep pasture at Migrant Alley, but a SPARROWHAWK flew through low, putting up around 40 STARLINGS and the mixed Corvid flock. Flyovers from HERRING GULL, GREYLAG GOOSE and SKYLARK were noted.
No Long Tailed Tits were seen in the Wet Woods / Scrubby Woods today, but the other scarcer species all made an appearance, those being GOLDCREST, COAL TIT, TREECREEPER, NUTHATCH, JAY and STOCK DOVE. BLACKCAP and CHIFFCHAFF were still singing, in the Scrubby Woods, those that weren't singing were filling up on the ever ripening Elder Berries, I hope to find my first Garden Warbler of the year doing the same very soon - fingers crossed!
Only a GREY HERON made a difference to the lake species, but whilst there 27 CANADA GEESE dropped in to join the two pairs already there. The MUTE SWAN and COOT families are doing fine still :-)
In the warmth of the late morning my mind turned to Butterflies, Dragons and Damsels, quite a good number of species were seen of each, but in small numbers. Red Eyed Damsels were seen on the Ornamental lake, where an Emperor Dragonfly was seen. Common Blue, Blue Tailed and White-legged Damsels were in the Scrubby Woods, along with Common Darter and the ever frustrating Brown Hawkers. However, a Southern Hawker that was seen and photographed was my first this year, taking my Odonata count to 17 species for 2014.
Many Butterflies were on the wing with Small and Large White, Green Veined White, Speckled Wood, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma, Peacock, Red Admiral, Small and Large Skippers plus probable Essex Skipper. Just one Purple Hairstreak was seen, but loads of Meadow browns and Gate Keepers were out, along with a few Common Blues, Small Coppers and my first Brown Argus of the month.
Female Common Blue
My first Southern Hawker for the year
Shame the sun went behind a cloud for these shots :-(
These represent the best shots I have of this species though :-)