Everything was dripping wet after the nights rainfall, making for a fresh smell to the morning air as I set off for a full patch walk. Five hours later I had 45 bird species in the book, most were just what I expected to see, but a couple of surprises were also recorded, the first of those was a KINGFISHER that was seen speeding through the Small Holding area, looks like the start of Autumn dispersal has arrived! The other surprise was finding a female MANDARIN DUCK (59) on the main lake, better still, she had 3 young with her, I reckon she was nesting in one of the old Oak trees in in one of the adjacent large gardens, this brings up the 30th species for the 'successfully bred' list and also takes me to within one species of attaining the joint lowest June total, which considering I was away for two weeks would be a decent achievement :-)
Plenty of activity was seen in the Scrubby Woods and around the banksides of the main lake, mostly from immature birds that had formed a feeding flock, I counted 13 LONG TAILED TITS, at least 5 GREAT TITS, a similar numbers of BLUE TITS, 2 NUTHATCHES and a 2 CHIFFCHAFFS in one group. BULLFINCH and COAL TIT were heard, but no young for those species has yet been found, as is the case for STOCK DOVE, which I rarely find the young of, but know that at least 2 pairs nest here!
Not much else out of the ordinary was found this morning, only two raptor species were seen, those being BUZZARD and KESTREL, the latter hunting at the Greenhouse Grounds, where I watched a prey item being delivered to their nest box.
Only HERRING GULL, GREY HERON and a few SWIFTS were noteworthy on my skywatch from my seat at Migrant Alley, where I listened to the WHITETHROATS singing, one of the few species that are now.
Nothing for the camera today, with dragons and Butterflies hiding up for the duration, but I have of course still got my Wales images to fall back on! Here's a whole load of Common Redstart photo's, what a cracking bird this is!!
Just the one image of the female, she proved to be a little less co-operative!