Monday, 22 September 2014

High, thin cloud made the sunshine a bit milky this morning, when it felt much cooler than recent mornings.

My early circuit of Migrant Alley was only notable for the number of MEADOW PIPITS counted there, in all there were 46 lined up on a fence line, but only one allowed a distant photo!

Meadow Pipit

Walking back through the Greenhouse Grounds, the two GREY WAGTAILS that have frequented here all month were back again, I wonder how long they will be around for ?

The edge of the Maize crop was walked, but only 3 CHIFFCHAFFS were found of note, so I made my way over to the Lakes and Scrubby Woods, there wasn't much to excite here, just the usual species on the lakes, a MISTLETHRUSH flew over whilst I was there, nice to see one now and again! Around 40 GOLDFINCHES were seen in the Scrubby Woods, but just one BULLFINCH, a superb male, it was the only one of the scarcer woodland species recorded today. Just as I was leaving, 6 SWALLOWS flew over.

I was heading back to my seat at Migrant Alley for a sky watch, when I saw that the Maize in the Pub Field was being cut, so I made my way across to there instead, you never know what might be flushed out when they harvest it!  I checked the drainage ditch fence line at the Ashes Lane Field as I went, but I wasn't really expecting what I found..............there, on the wire, was my first STONECHAT (104,75) of the year, fantastic!  :-)

It didn't allow close approach, so I just took a couple of distant shots, I didn't want to upset it, hopefully it may stay for a few days  :-)

What a brilliant little bird, a great find on my patch!

I spent the next three hours watching the Maize crop being harvested, I was hopeful of a Sedge or Reed Warbler being flushed out, as has happened in past years, but this year it was a bit disappointing, I only saw 5 -10 Chiffchaffs, loads of DUNNOCKS, a dozen CHAFFINCH, at least another 15 Meadow Pipits, 8 BLACKBIRDS, 1 SONGTHRUSH and 2 PHEASANTS. I also only saw two Foxes this year, normally there are five or six to be seen. As I watched the cropping taking place, I had my eye on the sky, seeing 3 BUZZARDS, 2 SPARROWHAWKS and a KESTREL, as well as a CORMORANT, a few more Swallows and a party of 13 HOUSE MARTINS. A flock of 9 JAYS was interesting to see, maybe it will be another invasion year for this species! As the field was cut, a tractor was tilling the stubbles left on the field, attracting 40-50 HERRING GULLS, 14 BLACK HEADED GULLS and a lone LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL.


Marc Heath said...

Well done with the Stonechat, been a good Chat passage on your patch this autumn.

Warren Baker said...

You're right, I've been spoiled this year :-)

Adam said...

Got one in Barming this evening as well Warren, in fact until this autumn I had more Stonechats than Whinchats! After all the rushing back and forward to Pittswood I'm up to Whinchat on patch now this autumn. Meadow Pipits everywhere, three biggish flocks in E Malling/Barming...120+, 80+, 60+. Poor pics of Stonechat posted later on my blog ;-)