As I walked along Ashes Lane to get to the Greenhouse Grounds first thing, I saw a pair of BULLFINCH in the hedgerow, the male looking particularly smart in the morning light. Entering the Greenhouse Grounds, it was good to see lots of GOLDFINCH and GREENFINCH were flitting about, most of them young birds, also the SWALLOWS were gathered in good numbers, at least 50 were seen again.
I headed out onto Migrant Alley, and checked all the fence lines, paddocks and sheep pasture for a possible Wheatear, but none were found. Around 25 LINNETS were on one of the paddocks, with about 30 STARLINGS and 4 PIED WAGTAILS, these all soon took to the air as a SPARROWHAWK flew over though. A check of the Wooded Headlands was made, where another pair of Bullfinch were about the best on offer.
The hedgerows around Migrant Alley are really looking tatty now, the sheep eat what they can reach, the Horses get what the sheep cant, and later on whatever little remains will be flailed.
Finishing the circuit of Migrant Alley, ending back at the Greenhouse Grounds, I checked the nettle beds and weedy areas for a Sedge Warbler, no luck there though, but as I watched the WHITETHROATS and BLACKCAPS charging about, they disturbed a WILLOW WARBLER, which in turn gave chase to a bird that I had to get my bins on to identify, that turned out to be a fantastic NIGHTINGALE (96,57), a new species for the year. It was in superb plumage, what a treat to see this former breeding species on my patch, as they are now only seen rarely here whilst on migration. despite much waiting around for a photo opportunity, I only got a couple more short views of it, and eventually left it in peace ;-). Later, whilst in the Greenhouse Copse, looking and failing to find a Little Owl, I heard a YELLOWHAMMER (58) flyover, I picked it out against the sky and watched it alight in the tall hedge beside my sky watching seat, a superb male bird :-) I was on my seat for while, doing my sky watch, but not much was recorded, a couple of GREY HERONS flew over, as did two groups of HERRING GULLS, the male KESTREL was up hunting, a BUZZARD soared high over, and a small flock of around 6 HOUSE MARTIN passed through.
It was almost 10:00hrs before I reached the lakes and Scrubby Woods, far too late to see much bird activity really, a couple more Blackcaps were seen on the Elder berries and a lone CHIFFCHAFF joined them, yet another pair of BULLFINCH were seen, and a couple of NUTHATCH called loudly.
I found a couple of Southern Hawker Dragonflies, as well as a Brown Hawker Dragonfly, but the cloud rolled in by now, and the dragons went up into the Oaks to rest, there was also a Purple Hairstreak high up in the Oaks, good to see one, they have been real scarce here this year.
These Common Blue Butterflies were found in the Small Holding as I walked back home
Here's some more of those Southern Hawker images I took the other day to finish up :-)
I like the slight impression on the Blackberry made by the Dragons grip :-)