Sunday 29 August 2010

It's back to the cool, cloudy and dull conditions again! This didn't help with bird sightings, and first thing it was very quiet, just 17 species were recorded as I walked Ashes Lane, the Tree Nursery, the Pub Field and most of Migrant Alley, the best of those being a GOLDCREST calling along Ashes Lane.

The Whinchat seemed to have gone from its usual fence line, but as I came to the end of Migrant Alley and walked past the College Stables, a WHEATEAR was spied on one of the stable roofs, the next best thing to a Whinchat :-)

Moments later a HOBBY came through, and chased the SWALLOWS around the paddocks, things were livening up as the temperature rose a little. Entering the College Grounds I saw that the feeding flock had returned again, mostly BLUE and GREAT TITS, but at least 5 CHIFFCHAFF, 4 SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS, (2 Juv), 3 Goldcrest, and a COAL TIT were seen.

A walk back through Migrant Alley to check out the fence lines for 'Chats' proved friutless, but I saw a CORMORANT go overhead, and 35 LINNET plus around 20 GOLDFINCH'S were in the boundary hedgerow.

The second part of my walk over to the lakes and scrub area, was of mixed fortune, a GREY HERON was fishing at the side of the main lake, 13 MALLARDS and 4 MOORHEN were all that was on the water. In the scrub it was good to find two GARDEN WARBLERS and a few BLACKCAPS, but not one Whitethroat was seen here, or anywhere else on my patch today. The SPARROWHAWK made itself known, as it does most mornings over the lakes.

With 43 species on the list, I decided to have one last check of the paddocks and pasture at Migrant Alley, on the way, as I walked through the Tree Nursery, I recorded KESTREL and LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL going over, and a STOCK DOVE flew out of the field.

At Migrant Alley I scanned the fence lines again, but again saw nowt, until I walked the final field boundary that divides the paddocks and pasture from the Greenhouse Complex, along here I saw a small bird fly up in front of me and alight on the hedge, right next to another small bird, they were both WHINCHATS ! Blimey, two more! Migrant Alley has come up with a Whinchat fest this Autumn :-) As I watched the Chats, two SKYLARK flew from the pasture, bringing the mornings species tally to 48.

An afternoon visit to the same hedgerow to relocate the Whinchat, and maybe get a photo, was well worth the effort, as I found not 2 but 3 of them!! I had all three in my binoculars at the same time :-) But still couldn't get near enough for a photo though. I also recorded a SAND MARTIN hawking insects over the pasture with the Swallows, that species and a MARSH TIT seen in my garden later took the daylist to a nice round 50. However there were some glaring omissions from the list today, the Common Whitethroat as mentioned, as well as Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, and Teecreeper.

I took a few photo's but they were dire, the light was poor enough as it was, but this young Spotted Flycatcher insisted on staying in the shadows as well.

A Skein of CANADA GEESE going over the Greenhouses early on.

I took a few Garden photo's this afternoon, the top two are of the NUTHATCH

The next two are of the Blue Tit, they are everywhere at the moment

Below Four Blue Tits and a GREAT TIT are finishing off the nuts


Derek Faulkner said...


Seems like you had better weather than us on Sheppey 'safternoon, we've had heavy showers and a NNW wind gusting to 50mph - it still is!

Warren Baker said...

Had a few showers Derek, and the wind, blimey cold or what :-)

ShySongbird said...

Hi Warren :) :) It's really great to be back! We have had some very heavy downpours and a horrible high wind today. Well done with the Whinchats, I think you had quite a productive day with those and the juvenile Spotty Fly's. That Nuthatch is gorgeous!! How I would love one to visit my garden.

Did you have any thoughts on my slightly dodgy wagtail, the one with the reflection?

Derek Faulkner said...


With the Thames Estuary just half a mile away its blowing a gale here.
It's keeping the sea-watchers happy tho, although its not a type of birdwatching that I find entertaining.

Warren Baker said...

Songbird Ive left you a post on your blog about the wagtail ID. :-)

Sharon said...

I'm ashamed to admit that I actually can't wait for winter just so I get Great / Coal & Blue Tits in the garden again, not seen any for ages! Lovely photos Warren, especially the Nuthatch.

Phil and Mandy said...

the Nuthatch photos are lovely Warren, well done

Ken. said...

Hi Warren.
1st of all congrats on reaching your 100 species. 50 species isn't a bad tally for today, plus the Marsh Tit, and Nuthatch in your garden, that is something special on it's own.

Anonymous said...

Hogging all the Whinchats, Warren ;-)

Unknown said...

Loving the Nuthatches and Blue Tits, we'll have to try peanuts again, tried them every year and they've always been ignored.

Jann said...

I never tire of seeing your blue and great tits, they're pretty birds. It's foggy and overcast here today, temp dropped quickly last night I take it. Any min. now summer will be gone and it will be fall, briefly, before winter hogs the scene. UGH! One more day of Aug. left, I hope your bird count is doing well for the month.