I decided to do a full patch walk this morning, at least it was totally windless, which made picking out bird calls easier! In total I recorded 46 species, that's about average for a September day :-) A YELLOW WAGTAIL was the only passage migrant species seen on the paddocks and sheep pasture at Migrant Alley, I reckon all the disturbance of the hedgerow destruction yesterday had finally seen off the long staying Whinchat. A small party of LINNETS, a GREEN WOODPECKER, plus a mix of JACKDAWS, ROOKS, STARLINGS and WOODPIGEONS were the only birds seen on the fields, above them however, a large mixed flock of HOUSE MARTINS and SWALLOWS fed for a while, at least 300-400 birds stayed for around 20 minutes, before moving SW. The Wooded Headland to the N of the paddocks had a CHIFFCHAFF, two BLACKCAPS and a LESSER WHITETHROAT all in close proximity of each other as they fed on Blackberries.
The Greenhouse Grounds and the associated Greenhouse Copse was good for decent numbers of CHAFFINCH, GOLDFINCH, BLUE TIT, GREAT TIT, WREN, DUNNOCK, ROBIN and PIED WAGTAILS, but not a single Greenfinch was seen today.
The Small Holding had a LITTLE OWL present, which flew from a fence pole to more secure place in an Oak tree, and a COAL TIT called from a nearby garden. Walking on, into the Wet Woods there was only the sound of a GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, a few singing Robins, and a calling GOLDCREST, so I moved on to the lakes and Scrubby Woods, which didn't add much to my day list apart from the usual water dwellers of MUTE SWAN, MALLARD, COOT and MOORHEN, plus calling JAY, NUTHATCH and BULLFINCH from the Scrubby Woods.
I made my way over to my sky watching seat at Migrant Alley, via the Ashes Lane Fields, where I saw a BUZZARD on the fence line that runs the length of the drainage ditch there, it was being carefully monitored by two MAGPIES :-) It was as I checked the boundary hedgerow that divides the Ashes lane Fields from the Pub Field, I found my star bird, a brilliant REDSTART (102,67), I had just a few seconds viewing it before it darted off into the Maize in the Pub Field, I wonder what else is lurking in that maize ? Hopefully it will be harvested soon, allowing to see what gets flushed out, as well as giving me access to the footpath again!
I reached my seat and had just sat down when I watched a passerine drop down from high, it alighted right on the top most part of an Alder tree in the Greenhouse Grounds, I looked through my binoculars and found it was a WHEATEAR, very nice! It didn't drop down into the paddocks, instead it flew off towards the Pub Field, probably to join the Redstart in the Maize crop :-)
I stayed for an hour, scanning the skies, and found three more raptor species, KESTREL, SPARROWHAWK and a pair of HOBBIES that chased and called as they passed through. More Swallows and House martins went over, as did a GREY HERON, plus another Yellow Wagtail and a lone MEADOW PIPIT that was just audible as it flew south.
The year list moves on to 102 with todays Redstart, which is the 7th best yearly tally from 13, i'll have to find another 5 species for that year list if I want to get to 6th best place! Meanwhile the months list is racing along, with 67 species found already, which is the 8th best September from 13, I need another 4 to reach 7th place. Surely that Songthrush will turn up soon, and i'd be a bit disappointed not to find a Yellowhammer, Skylark or Greylag Goose for this month, the peregrine could show up and my old friend the Barnacle Goose may also get on the list, but beyond those species it will be all down to luck :-)
Nothing for the camera in the poor light today, all ive got in the ''Blog photo folder'' are these images of a Small Copper Butterfly, taken earlier in the week.