Friday 31 August 2012

I was out at first light this morning, hoping that the north wind had brought in a different bird species for the months list, to tell the truth the wind was more west than north, but it still had a chill to it!

There was virtually nothing to see as I walked the Greenhouse Grounds and Migrant Alley to get to the College Grounds, I was out to early even for the birds  :-) As it got lighter, and a touch warmer, the birds slowly came out, but far from birds arriving, there seemed to have been a mass exodus of summer species, just four CHIFFCHAFF were seen with the LONG TAILED TIT flock in the College Gardens, and two SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS fed at the top of a tall lime tree, no other warblers were noted here.

I made my way back over to Migrant Alley, where a passage bird had arrived, a WHEATEAR, it saw me and immediately flew off towards the Greenhouses - never to be seen again! Whilst at The Greenhouses more evidence of birds having moved on was that just one WHITEHROAT and one BLACKCAP was seen, plus another single Chiffchaff. The raspberry dump had 5 WRENS, a BLACKBIRD, a SONGTHRUSH, 3 DUNNOCKS and a BLUE TIT feeding on it today.
Raspberry dump dwelling Dunnock
Blue Tit waiting to drop down on the Raspberries
I hung around the paddocks and pasture of Migrant Alley for another 3 hours, watching and waiting, but didn't see too much in the way of migration, just one SAND MARTIN and a YELLOW WAGTAIL flew over, a HOBBY was also seen, probably a passage bird. Whilst watching the sky SPARROWHAWK and KESTREL were also noted, later this afternoon the raptor species count went up to five, when one of the local PEREGRINES flew over, and two BUZZARDS were seen soaring over the Greenhouses.

By mid morning I was picked up for a visit to Oare marshes, ( A rare off patch adventure!) which enabled me to get my ear in for some wader calls, as well practice some long range photography  :-) see below for my efforts :-)
Little Egret
So August ends on a bit of a mixed note, it ended with a species list of 72, which is the third highest for the 11 years, and 5 above the 11 year mean average August total, but 1 below the mean average August total for the last five years.

Two species occurred this month that have not been recorded in August before, the Common Gull, and of course the patch tick Yellow Legged Gull, these take the 11 year combined August species total to 91.

Thursday 30 August 2012

I just about covered all parts of my patch this morning before a rash of showers started to blow through, it wasn't quite as busy with passage birds as yesterday, the Sedge Warblers from the Greenhouse Grounds had moved on, and there were no Sand martins or Yellow Wagtails over Migrant Alley.

The College Grounds and gardens were the most productive place, as of recent visits, where a GREY WAGTAIL was seen at the Stables, only the 3rd record this month. The Gardens once again had a mixed feeding flock, the best of which included a SPOTTED FLYCATCHER, a BLACKCAP, at least 6 CHIFFCHAFFS, and 4 LONG TAILED TITS.

The Greenhouse Grounds, with the Raspberry dump was checked thoroughly, here were found a couple of WHITETHROAT, lots of WRENS, DUNNOCKS, BLACKBIRDS, GOLDFINCH'S, a few GREENFINCH and CHAFFINCH, plus a WILLOW WARBLER, just singles of Blackcap and Chiffchaff were seen here. With the local SWALLOWS that feed over the Greenhouses were a few HOUSE MARTINS, which didn't stay around too long.

A HOBBY flew over, as did a pair of CORMORANT, only the second record for this species this month, also a KESTREL was in its usual hunting spot to the front of the Greenhouses.

The Pub Field is a little disappointing at the moment, despite it not being ploughed or harrowed yet, only a few WOODPIGEON were on it today, with two STOCK DOVES, as for the Tree Nursery, it has become too difficult to fully explore, as the vegetation is now so dense it hides the big holes that were left in the ground after the shrubs and saplings were extracted, making it dangerous for an old boy like me to walk through safely  :-)  However I did note some common stuff where I could get access, the likes of SONGTHRUSH, ROBIN, GREEN WOODPECKER, GREAT TIT, BLUE TIT, JAY, and CHAFFINCH all went on the daylist.

A LESSER WHITETHROAT was in the Small Holding and a small feeding flock of birds were at the nearby edge of the Wet Woods, only a couple of BULLFINCH that were with them were new for the day though. Over at the Lakes a KINGFISHER was a welcome sight, but the water held just 2 MALLARD, 2 CANADA GEESE and 4 MOORHEN  - a disappointing set of water bodies really, not visited by much water fowl due to many factors. The adjacent Scrubby Woods had some of the familiar woodland species, added to the day list from here were; TREECREEPER, NUTHATCH, COAL TIT, GOLDCREST, and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, a few Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs were noted from here too.

Not a bad visit today, 48 species in all, but with just one August visit left, I dont think i'll be setting a monthly record for the number of species seen, needing 6 more just to equal the best August total, and 3 more to equal the second best  :-)

Photo's today come mostly from the College Grounds :-
Long Tailed Tit
Immature Blackbird

Wednesday 29 August 2012

Dreaded Fog  :-(

Initially this morning my patch was shrouded in dense fog, which took until 07:30hrs to clear, but once it did some good sunny spells were enjoyed, before rain moved in for early afternoon.

This Red Admiral basked in the sun by 10:00hrs, you wouldn't believe it was the same day.
It was hard going in the fog early on, with very few birds being found, it wasn't until I reached the College Grounds and the fog started to thin that it started getting more lively. Almost the first bird encountered here was a LITTLE OWL, which dropped down from a tree onto a prey item, minutes later a mixed feeding flock was found, keeping me entertained for some time, sorting out WILLOW WARBLERS, CHIFFCHAFFS, BLACKCAPS, SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS, GOLDCREST, and TREECREEPERS, as well as the GREAT, BLUE, COAL and LONG TAILED TITS, even a NUTHATCH was with the flock, not a species normally associated with the College Grounds.
Blackcap at the College Grounds
Having satisfied myself there was nothing rare or new for the month amongst the flock, I went over to check the now visible fence lines and fields at Migrant Alley, alas the Whinchat had departed overnight, and there were no Wheatears about, but at least two more YELLOW WAGTAILS were in the sheep pasture, and a good sighting of a HOBBY was had as it sped over.

I checked out the Greenhouse Grounds and the Raspberry dump, where both the SEDGE WARBLERS were still feeding. Also feeding there, was at least two WHITEHROAT, A CHIFFCHAFF, a Willow Warbler, a SONGTHRUSH, and a Immature BLACKBIRD. In the nearby bushes a GARDEN WARBLER was seen again.
Whitethroat  (yesterdays photo)
Willow warbler
Moulting Chiffchaff
Immature Blackbird
A circuit of the Tree Nursery and Pub Field was had, but with little of note seen here, a KESTREL was up hunting over the stubble in the Pub Field, and the GREYLAG and CANADA GEESE flocks were seen going over, fewer gulls were about than recently, just a few HERRING GULLS, and a lone LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL. Now for some big patch news, talking of Gulls, I posted a photo of an immature Gull back on the 27th August, I labelled it as a Herring Gull, but had my suspicions that it was something else, especially after STEWART (Thanks!) increased my suspicions. I sent the photo's off to a better birder than me, and he confirmed this afternoon that it was indeed a YELLOW LEGGED GULL (139,102,72) A PATCH TICK no less!! Here it is again -
Immature Yellow Legged Gull - patch tick no.139 yipee!!
Back to today, and I finished up with a sky watch back on my seat at Migrant Alley, where I added GREY HERON, and a couple of passage SAND MARTINS to the days list, which ended on an incredible 51 species, very good since I didn't visit the lakes, or woods today  :-)
LINNET at Migrant Alley, trying its best to be a Wheatear  :-)
Another Wren Photo  :-)

Tuesday 28 August 2012

I had quite an interesting patch visit this morning, spending the whole of the morning out around the Greenhouse grounds and Migrant Alley with shorter visits to the Pub Field and Tree Nursery. The sun was shining, and a southerly breeze blew, making for pleasant conditions as I entered the Greenhouse Grounds.

There were plenty of birds about in the rough areas around the Greenhouses, mainly the common stuff, GOLDFINCH, GREENFINCH, CHAFFINCH, BLUE TIT, GREAT TIT, WREN, ROBIN, DUNNOCK, BLACKBIRD, SONGTHRUSH, GREEN WOODPECKER, plus some summer birds were about, WHITETHROAT, CHIFFCHAFF, BLACKCAP, also a line of SWALLOWS on the Greenhouses. As I walked tover to check the heap of discarded Raspberries I saw a perfect looking GARDEN WARBLER feeding on Blackberries, but a real treat was seeing not one but two SEDGE WARBLERS feeding on the Raspberry pile, while taking a few photo's of them, I spied a bird at the top of a nearby Hawthorn bush, raising my bins I found it to be another WHINCHAT - brilliant!

The sheep pasture at Migrant Alley had a YELLOW WAGTAIL feeding in it, my efforts to photograph it failed miserably, as is often the case with this species.  I walked the pasture and paddocks of Migrant Alley, the first of many times this morning, but didn't find an expected Wheatear, they really are scarce here this August. Plenty of ROOKS, CARRION CROWS, JACKDAWS, WOODPIGEONS were seen, as well as a small flock of a dozen or so LINNETS, which had some recently fledged birds in with them, and at least 4 SKYLARKS were about, the daily flyover of GREYLAG and CANADA GEESE still continues, as does the flyover of HERRING GULLS.

The wooded headland to the north of Migrant Alley had a couple of screeching JAYS, and a GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, also the odd calling Chiffchaff. I relocated the Whinchat on a fence rail on one of my circuits of the paddocks, but no other passage migrants were found. There were at least fifty HOUSE MARTINS that passed over at one point, and I enjoyed watching the KESTREL hunting over the Tree Nursery, the only other raptor today was a SPARROWHAWK.

Not a bad collection of birds, 38 species in all, considering only part of my patch was covered today  :-)   No new ones for the month though, so I'm still seven behind the best August total.

I took lots of photo's of the Sedge Warbler and Whitethroat at the Raspberry pile today, so I'll save a few for tomorrow, as the weather looks a bit uncooperative for photography.
Sedge Warbler
Sedge Warbler
Sedge Warbler
Whitethroat - shame about the bar-coding!

Monday 27 August 2012

A passage migrant WILLOW WARBLER sang from the Tree Nursery first thing this morning, and a few WHITETHROAT, CHIFFCHAFF, plus two BLACKCAP were in the Greenhouse Grounds. Migrant Alley had been vacated of its Whinchat, but in place of that were at least 4 YELLOW WAGTAILS feeding out in the Sheep pasture, their piercing calls stood out from the twittering of the skimming flock of SWALLOWS, as did the more liquid trilling of a couple of SKYLARKS.

The College Grounds chipped in with its share of summer migrants, when a LESSER WHITETHROAT was seen among a group of foraging birds, this was made up of of Chiffchaff, GOLDCREST, ROBINS, and a TREECREEPER. Further into the College grounds, COAL TIT, NUTHATCH, BULLFINCH, and both GREEN and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERS were found amongst the usual regulars, I also noticed a small group of HOUSE MARTINS making their way south. After struggling for a couple of months to record MISTLE THRUSHES, a group of 12 dropped into a large Oak tree, a nice sight  :-)

Heading back out across Migrant Alley, the hundreds of CANADA and GREYLAG GEESE, started to go past, as did scores of HERRING GULLS, with a few LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS, but again no Black Headed Gulls were seen with them. A LITTLE OWL called from an adjacent large garden.

I reached the Lakes and Scrubby Woods area a bit later than normal this morning, the lakes had a GREY HERON, 4 MALLARDS, and 6 MOORHEN distributed between them, but the woodland was quiet, just JAY was added to the days list, although a few more Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs were heard calling.

Raptors were eventually seen, three species went into the notebook, those being COMMON BUZZARD, SPARROW HAWK and KESTREL all seen up hunting around the Greenhouse Grounds and Migrant Alley.

Nothing new for the months list today, but a very good day list of 51 species was recorded, I could do with a visit fro the likes of Reed warbler or Reed Bunting, or maybe one of the Coots will return to the lakes ?
Immature Herring Gull
I played around with this CARRION CROW shot, and made it black and white  :-)
Just look at this WREN, can you imagine its delight at sitting on a mounting of food, with more food flying all over it :-) He had to share it though, these discarded Raspberries at the Greenhouse Grounds were attracting SONGTHRUSH, BLACKBIRD, DUNNOCK, plus the already mentioned Whitethroat, Chiffchaff and Blackcaps.
Here's the Kestrel sitting on one of the poly tunnel frames

Sunday 26 August 2012

Peacock Butterfly
I managed a full patch walk this morning, despite not feeling 100% , its my own fault, I should have rested up with the chest infection I had last week, now its lingering on  :-(

Anyway enough of my woes, and back to the patch, where I was once again cheered by the presence of the WHINCHAT at Migrant Alley ( I took some photo's of it this afternoon on a subsequent visit ), More passage migrant species were at the College Grounds, including a couple of WILLOW WARBLER which sang loudly - one of my favourite sounds, also at least 6 CHIFFCHAFFS some of them were singing as well, plus a couple of BLACKCAPS and 2 SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS. It was unusual to see a LITTLE OWL on the boundary of the college sports pitch, its not often I see one here.
Willow Warbler

Other summer species noted today were at least 4 WHITEHROATS, two in the Greenhouse Grounds, they gave some song too, and another two in the Tree Nursery. A dozen or so HOUSE MARTINS were mixed in with the 30 -40 SWALLOWS feeding over the sheep pasture at Migrant Alley

Most of the woodland species were recorded today as I roamed the Wet Woods, Scrubby Woods, and the Small Holding, these included the COAL TIT, LONG TAILED TIT, TREECREEPER, NUTHATCH, BULLFINCH and GOLDCREST ( I also had the treat of Long Tailed Tit and Bullfinch back at  home in my garden today - very nice!) On the lakes it was as usual for this time of year, just MOORHEN and MALLARDS in twos and threes.

Flyovers today included hundreds of GREYLAGS and CANADA GEESE early on, plus the daily sight of HERRING GULLS moving from one harrowed field to the next, scores of them are still about, with the odd LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL, but no Black Headed Gulls today. A GREY HERON also flew over, but just one raptor species was seen up hunting during the visit, that being the KESTREL.

48 species were recorded this morning, but no new species for the month or year, but it's getting very difficult to add anything to either now, maybe a Reed Warbler or Reed Bunting will show for the August list this week.
BLACKBIRD (Immature)

Saturday 25 August 2012

Not much time was spent out on my patch today, mainly due to me not feeling too good ( Again!) Also some heavy showery rain moved through the area for most of the morning, making things difficult, I did get out early, but only for half an hour, that time was spent at the Greenhouse |Grounds, where I found a group of birds feeding around the discarded reject raspberries, which were rotting away, providing a multitude of insects for at least 4 WHITHROATS, 2 BLACKCAPS and 4 CHIFFCHAFFS, also a family of WRENS, a couple of DUNNOCKS, a BLACKBIRD and a SONGTHRUSH.
A wet, bedraggled and moulting CHIFFCHAFF above the rotting fruit pile, I think I felt like it looked !

One of the Wren Family at the same pile of rotting raspberries

Later in day, I went for a walk around Migrant Alley and was cheered by the sighting of another WHINCHAT, unfortunately it didn't let me anywhere near for a photo!

Friday 24 August 2012

I never did get to 60 species yesterday, despite an hour out early evening, it really is a tall order to achieve on my patch, but i'm sure it will happen one day  :-)

This morning I was limited for time, and only 90 minutes was spent out on patch, I went around the Greenhouse Complex and Migrant Alley, and was a bit miffed at finding SKYLARK almost straight away - one that got away yesterday, then a little later two single YELLOW WAGTAILS flew over, plus two SAND MARTINS were picked up amongst the 30-40 SWALLOWS over the sheep pasture, both species that were not seen yesterday, thats how hit and miss it can be here!

There were a few warblers about in the Greenhouse Grounds, 4 WHITETHROAT, 2 BLACKCAP, 2 CHIFCHAFF, a single GARDEN WARBLER and a WILLOW WARBLER, along with a few LINNETS and a flock of 20 or so GOLDFINCH. Yesterdays Wheatear and Whinchats were nowhere to be found, nor was the Redstart, despite much searching, lets hope more arrive soon! 

A couple of BULLFINCH were heard in the Wooded Headland, along with calls from more Chiffchaff, and a NUTHATCH could be heard calling in the distance. SPARROWHAWK and KESTREL were the only raptors seen today, and the now daily fly through of many hundreds of HERRING GULLS along with a few LESSER BLACK BACKED and BLACK HEADED GULLS was observed, another daily ritual of recent times is the noisy passage of 3 - 400 GREYLAG and CANADA GEESE, quite a sight and sound!

Thursday 23 August 2012

With the weather looking to deteriorate over the next few days, today was going to need to be a good visit - and boy was it!

The cooler conditions and patchy mist made for a quiet first hour as I walked over to the College grounds, I had only encountered 18 species on the way, only two of those, the SWALLOWS and a BLACKCAP were summer birds and I was feeling very despondent. Once at the College Grounds things picked up a bit, with CHIFFCHAFF, WILLOW WARBLER, SPOTTED FLYCATCHER and HOUSE MARTIN joining the list of summer birds, with the likes of COAL TIT, GOLDCREST and NUTHATCH also being seen. I had recorded 38 species by the time I left the College, and five more joined the list before I got home for a quick drink, they being LESSER WHITETHROAT, found in the hedgerow at the Pub Field, where a couple of LINNET and at last a CHAFFINCH was seen, 25 CANADA GEESE flewover and an immature PHEASANT was along Ashes Lane
Immature Pheasant
Whilst at home gulping down a pint of orange juice, I looked out of the window to see a GARDEN WARBLER in my Elder tree, thats the second one this Autumn. I left to do the second part of my walk in better humour, and almost immediately my luck started to change, a flock of 20 plus LONG TAILED TITS in the Small Holding had a TREECREEPER with them, as well as a family of BULLFINCH, but better was to come once I reached the lakes, where both KINGFISHER (68) and CORMORANT (69) were found, the first this month, the 4 MALLARDS also there, made the day list up to 50 species, then a LITTLE OWL called from the Scrubby Woods to make 51 - I was now thinking about getting 60 species in a day, for the first time ever  :-)  Just before leaving, I had a look over the Buddleia bushes and was very excited when I found this SILVER WASHED FRITILLARY ( at least I think that what it is, Greenie will put me right if not!) This is my 23rd Butterfly species of the year, what a find!
Silver Washed Fritillary
Silver Washed Fritillary
I made my way over to the Tree Nursery, and added WHITETHROAT to the list, then SPARROWHAWK as a male circled over, quickly after, I found a KESTREL perched on a telephone wire over Ashes Lane, that gave me 54 species for the day just 6 more needed, but what was left to find realistically ?, I could only think of Buzzard, Hobby, Skylark, or Yellowhammer, so headed of to where they may be found - Migrant Alley. I soon added BUZZARD, there were 3 circling over the Greenhouse Copse, a tramp across the sheep pasture was had hoping to put up a Skylark, but none flew up, I scanned the fenclines, more in hope than anything, and saw a tiny dot on the wooden rail, 250 meters away - could it be a Wheatear I thought ? Off I went as stealthily as possible, only to find it wasn't a Wheatear, it was in fact not one, but two WHINCHAT (101, 70), fantastic! They are the first of 2012. There is another migrant species that virtually always turns up at Migrant Alley when there are Whinchats about, and another scan of the fence lines found one..........this time it was a WHEATEAR, that really did make my day :-)  The day list had now reached 57, just 3 more species to reach that mythical 60! Skylark, Yellowhammer and Hobby would do it, maybe a Yellow wagtail would fly over, as they have for the past 3 days, however as I made my way over to my seat for a skywatch, passing the boundary hedgerow as I went, I spotted a bird flit from the fence rail to the hedge - a REDSTART (71) WOW! Migrant Alley has earnt its corn today, superb! I watched the Redstart fly into the boundary hedge that borders the Greenhouse Grounds, and whilst scanning for it I was 90% sure I saw a fleeting glimpse of a Reed Warbler - I only saw it once, despite hanging around for it to show again - blast, I cant count it if i'm not 100% sure.
Immature Green Woodpecker
By now I was hot, very hungry and thirsty, so begrudgingly I had to head off home to grab a sandwich and a drink. Half hour later I was out again, trying to find the two species needed to get the 60 species in a day, I sky watched, walked the hedgerows, and tramped the sheep pasture, but I had just run out of bird species  :-(  By 15:00hrs I had to call it a day, only if that Skylark or Yellowhammer had shown, or mybe the Hobby, any of which could realistically have been expected.

Still, it had been a brilliant day, with the year list reaching 101, and the months list leaping into third position, with 71, 4 behind second spot and 7 behind the record August total. I might just sneak off out this evening, if possible..........  ;-)

One of the Whinchats, they were not very approachable, but I got the record shot
Wheatear - a much more confiding species, - sometimes  :-)

Wednesday 22 August 2012

A four hour visit this morning covering all parts of my patch, plus a 3 hour skywatch this afternoon, produced an excellent total of 52 species, the only species not found that should have been was a Bullfinch.

The liveliest part of my patch was once again the College Grounds, where I spent ages watching a mixed feeding flock that contained 2 SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS, at least 10 CHIFFCHAFF, 5 LONG TAILED TITS, 2 WILLOW WARBLERS, 2 GOLDCREST, a BLACKCAP, a COAL TIT, plus the usual BLUE TITS, GREAT TITS, ROBINS and WRENS. All these as well as BLACKBIRDS, DUNNOCKS, SONGTHRUSH, GREAT SPOTTED and GREEN WOODPECKER, GOLDFINCH, CHAFFINCH GREENFINCH, and a flyover MISTLE THRUSH made for a lot to look through!

Elsewhere the summer species were few, just one WHITETHROAT was seen in the Tree Nursery, and a couple more Blackcaps at the Scrubby Woods and one more in the Greenhouse Grounds. Four HOUSE MARTINS joined the Swallows over Migrant Alley, the only other summer birds were flyovers, one a HOBBY, the other another YELLOW WAGTAIL the third in consecutive days.

On an adjacent field to my patch, there were an incredible 2000 plus Gulls, mostly HERRING GULLS, but also BLACK HEADED and LESSER BLACK BACKED with them, the flock was being added to throughout the morning, In fact a continual stream of Gulls flew over my patch all day.

To add to the Hobby seen early on, I added the three usual raptor species to go with it during my sky watch, those being SPARROWHAWK, KESTREL, and 3 BUZZARDS, also a GREY HERON went over, but nothing more exciting than that.

No additions to the month, a bit disappointing, but ive lots of holiday visits left yet  :-)

I tried for ages to get some more Warbler photo's, but they didn't stop feeding for one moment, the Long Tailed Tits were more obliging though  :-)
Long Tailed \tit
Long Tailed Tit
Long tailed Tit
Long tailed \tit

Tuesday 21 August 2012

I didn't do the full patch walk today, instead I went over to my seat at Migrant Alley and watched the sky for a couple of hours. I was confident in seeing my first Cormorant of the month, but it was mis placed confidence as none were seen!

In fact very little indeed was seen going over, certainly no migration movements, just the Gulls and Corvids mainly, heading for their own field of sheep pasture, quite a number of each built up, with over 300 HERRING GULLS and over 1000 Corvids!  Six LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS were with the Herring Gulls, and just 4 BLACK HEADED GULLS, the corvids were comprised of ROOKS and JACKDAWS, split 60/40 in favour of ROOKS.

After two hours sky watching I walked the Pasture and Paddocks of Migrant Alley, and found a few warbler species, mainly in the Wooded Headland, where a mixed group of CHIFFCHAFF, WHITETHROAT, BLACKCAP and a single LESSER WHITETHROAT were seen. The hedgrow boundary with the Greenhouse Complex had more Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Whitethroat, but no sign of the Sedge Warbler today. A LITTLE OWL called from the Greenhouse Copse, and a YELLOW WAGTAIL was heard going over, but I couldn't see it.

Around 10:00hrs I went home for breakfast, before once again resuming my vigil from my seat, where another 3 hours were spent sky watching, in that time I found 4 Raptor species, SPARROWHAWK, KESTREL, COMMON BUZZARD and HOBBY, but not much in the way of passage Migrants, just lots of SWALLOWS, most of which were local birds, and the pleasing sight of four SKYLARKS dropping down amongst the sheep. When I left to go home I cut through the Greenhouse Grounds, where a WILLOW WARBLER was seen amongst the mobile home units that house the workers, this was the 44th species of the day, which is a really surprising total, as most of the patch wasn't covered.

Not a bad visit then, I had hoped for a Wheatear or maybe even a Whinchat on the paddocks, but it's proving to be a poor year for the passage of these passage species here.
Willow Warbler at the Greenhouse Grounds
Willow Warbler
This Chiffchaff visited my garden, it flitted around the Buddleia and hollyhocks while I had a late breakfast
Chiffchaff on Hollyhock