Another morning of relentless rain meant a lie in and a leisurely breakfast, but by 10:00hrs I was getting itchy feet and needed some fresh air, so I got out the waterproofs and headed off over to the Greenhouse Grounds and Migrant Alley.
It was chucking it down when I arrived at the Greenhouse Grounds and everything was obviously hiding up in the vegetation, although I did spot a WHITETHROAT snatch a blackberry before diving back into cover. The rain eased slightly as I started my circuit of Migrant Alley, where I almost immediately found 2 WHINCHATS on the fenceline, probably 2 of yesterdays 3 birds that were here. The next birds I saw were a complete surprise and most unexpected, when a pair of CURLEW (100,77) flew up from out of the sheep pasture, a fantastic species to find for my patch and the one that brings up the 100th for the year! I watched them fly off SE, calling as they did so, I felt a bit guilty at having put them up in the poor conditions, but if I hadn't, someone else would have, that makes it all the more remarkable that it was me who found them first, the rewards of getting out in the worst weather I suppose!
More good birds were to come as I continued round Migrant Alley, a WHEATEAR popped up onto a fence post and the call of YELLOW WAGTAILS alerted me to the pair that were dropping in to the sheep pasture, they stayed for about ten minutes before moving on again. The rain eased a bit more as I reached my sky watching seat, where I stopped for a scan across the sheep pasture and paddocks, finding 3 SAND MARTINS and half a dozen HOUSE MARTINS feeding with the 20-30 SWALLOWS. I stayed for around 45 minutes longer, and saw two SWIFTS go over as well as a GREY HERON, 3 single LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS, many HERRING GULLS, a HOBBY and the local KESTREL pair. Behind me in the boundary hedgerow I heard the very quiet sub-song of a WILLOW WARBLER, by now though I was wet through, but the rain had helped bring in the migrant species and kept most of the dog walkers away, it was like the migrant alley of years gone by :-)
Obviously no photo's today in the poor weather and the blog photo folder has run dry, oh well, I've had a good run with the camera up to this point, so cant complain!