I returned home early from yesterdays walk, feeling unwell again, so no blog post, but today I was out early for a full patch walk, however I again felt pretty rough at the end of my visit, this cold virus I have is a right bastard!
In the somewhat curtailed full patch walk, I did get to find a reasonable tally of bird species, 45 in all, nothing outstanding or new for the months list, with most species only turning up in ones and two's, as is normally the case during July.
There were 23 GREYLAG GEESE on the sheep pasture at Migrant Alley, over which 4 MISTLETHRUSHES flew, only the second record of this species for July. The CANADA GEESE had already moved on to the lakes, where only a GREY HERON was of any note. BUZZARD, SPARROWHAWK and KESTREL were all seen hunting on and over my patch, while the Summer passerine species were particularly hard to locate today, but I did get to see one each of CHIFFCHAFF, WHITETHROAT and BLACKCAP, plus lots of SWALLOWS, mostly immatures flying around. No Swifts were seen today, nor Long Tailed Tit, but they were the only two species that were missing from todays list that could have been reasonably expected to show up.
I spent a some time looking into the Scrubby Woods, the constant calls of COAL TIT, NUTHATCH, TREECREEPER, GOLDCREST, and BULLFINCH were heard,but the real reason I was watching, was the Dragonflies, I could see BROWN HAWKER flying low over the brambles and nettles, as well as a Beatiful Demoiselle up in an Oak tree, a couple of COMMON DARTERS were high up in an Elder, but the star dragon was a DOWNY EMERALD. I watched what I thought were two individuals patrolling their territories, eventually one of them alighted deep in the nettles and brambles, stupidly, I set of in there after it! I manged to locate it, after getting stung, scratched and gouged, ( no wonder I felt crap by the visits end!) I could only get to within 2 meters of it, but got a record shot, which in my opinion shows it to be not a Downy Emerald, but the much more interesting BRILLIANT EMERALD, a fantastic find for my patch, just the second ever!
The yellow 'Frons' (face) separates the Brilliant Emerald from the downy Emerald. Although a side on shot, it does seem to show this feature. Shame I couldn't get more images, I'll try again tomorrow, weather and my virus permitting!