Friday, 12 August 2016

The day dawned clear and sunny, staying that way throughout, although an annoyingly gusty Southerly wind developed by late morning.

I spent a little under four hours walking the Ashes Lane Fields, Pub Field, and Migrant Alley, hoping for a sign that Autumn migration was under way, and today it came, when I found the years first WHINCHAT (96,56), a lovely pristine female, at migrant alley, ( where else!) In fact the bird found me, it flew in low across the sheep pasture, alighting on a fence line some 50m away as I stood trying and failing to photograph the 20-30 SWALLOWS that were lined up on the same fence. So despite the diminishing habitat and heavy disturbance at Migrant Alley, the Whinchats still pass through here, they can still be found if i'm out early enough, although not in quite the numbers they used to, nor do they stay for as long as they used to.

Not quite a Whinchat, but this WREN posed nicely for me

There was also a WHITETHROAT seen in the nearby ''pretend'' hedgerow, a passage bird no doubt, however that was my lot for the day migrant wise, apart from a couple of CHIFFCHAFFS seen in the Greenhouse Grounds boundary hedge.

SPARROWHAWK, BUZZARD, KESTREL and HOBBY were all noted up hunting, always good to get a four Raptor species day  :-).

A look for Dragonflies proved a bit disappointing, despite the fine weather I saw only a couple of Southern Hawkers, half a dozen Migrant hawkers and half a dozen Common Darters, only the latter perching kindly for the camera.

Common Darter


Derek Faulkner said...

Warren, at the risk of getting rebuked, I think you need to simply enjoy the birds that are still about and coming through, rather than keep repeating the bit about habitat destruction. The Whinchat and Garden Warbler have proved that they will still keep coming and unless one is at Dungeness, we're all going through a quiet phase at the moment, birds are moulting and they become secretive and listless.

Warren Baker said...

I do realise that there are quiet times of the year, i'm not a novice birder! I get a bit down hearted though at having to spend twice as long in the field to find a quarter of the birds as I used to at the same point in the year.

Derek Faulkner said...

No one suggested you was a novice.

Pjbird1973 said...

As a watcher of this site I agree; understand that local changes do and don't reflect national trends; habitat is lost and gained; a working farm and changes to habitat happen, you don't after all own this place. To be honest many birds you see in the same numbers and some even more despite your pessimism

Warren Baker said...

My pessimism is based on the fact ( backed up by 15 years of data) that the birds are indeed not being seen in the same numbers - species counts may be the same, but I have to work harder to get the same monthly / yearly species counts as I did in the past.

Working farms have no reason not to mitigate their activities in this day and age, they even get paid to do so!

Thanks for looking in by the way PJ :-)