Monday, 22 September 2014

High, thin cloud made the sunshine a bit milky this morning, when it felt much cooler than recent mornings.

My early circuit of Migrant Alley was only notable for the number of MEADOW PIPITS counted there, in all there were 46 lined up on a fence line, but only one allowed a distant photo!

Meadow Pipit

Walking back through the Greenhouse Grounds, the two GREY WAGTAILS that have frequented here all month were back again, I wonder how long they will be around for ?

The edge of the Maize crop was walked, but only 3 CHIFFCHAFFS were found of note, so I made my way over to the Lakes and Scrubby Woods, there wasn't much to excite here, just the usual species on the lakes, a MISTLETHRUSH flew over whilst I was there, nice to see one now and again! Around 40 GOLDFINCHES were seen in the Scrubby Woods, but just one BULLFINCH, a superb male, it was the only one of the scarcer woodland species recorded today. Just as I was leaving, 6 SWALLOWS flew over.

I was heading back to my seat at Migrant Alley for a sky watch, when I saw that the Maize in the Pub Field was being cut, so I made my way across to there instead, you never know what might be flushed out when they harvest it!  I checked the drainage ditch fence line at the Ashes Lane Field as I went, but I wasn't really expecting what I found..............there, on the wire, was my first STONECHAT (104,75) of the year, fantastic!  :-)

It didn't allow close approach, so I just took a couple of distant shots, I didn't want to upset it, hopefully it may stay for a few days  :-)

What a brilliant little bird, a great find on my patch!

I spent the next three hours watching the Maize crop being harvested, I was hopeful of a Sedge or Reed Warbler being flushed out, as has happened in past years, but this year it was a bit disappointing, I only saw 5 -10 Chiffchaffs, loads of DUNNOCKS, a dozen CHAFFINCH, at least another 15 Meadow Pipits, 8 BLACKBIRDS, 1 SONGTHRUSH and 2 PHEASANTS. I also only saw two Foxes this year, normally there are five or six to be seen. As I watched the cropping taking place, I had my eye on the sky, seeing 3 BUZZARDS, 2 SPARROWHAWKS and a KESTREL, as well as a CORMORANT, a few more Swallows and a party of 13 HOUSE MARTINS. A flock of 9 JAYS was interesting to see, maybe it will be another invasion year for this species! As the field was cut, a tractor was tilling the stubbles left on the field, attracting 40-50 HERRING GULLS, 14 BLACK HEADED GULLS and a lone LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

It was much fresher than of late this morning, with a moderate northerly wind breaking up the early cloud cover to give some sunny intervals.

 This BUZZARD flew over early in the walk

I carried out a 'full patch walk'' and in the 4 and a half hours it took, I found 47 bird species, but that didn't include Songthrush, Treecreeper, Coal Tit or Long Tailed Tit that I know were out there somewhere!

Out on the pasture and paddocks of Migrant Alley the LINNET flock had dwindled slighly, 50 - 60 were seen, the STARLING flock was smaller too, with around 40 - 50 birds present. Three GREEN WOODPECKERS were also seen, as were at least 8 MEADOW PIPITS, plus the mixed flock of ROOKS, CARRION CROWS, JACKDAWS and the odd MAGPIE.

Summer species continue to dwindle, with just one BLACKCAP being found, that was at the edge of the Maize crop in the Pub Field, where 4 of todays 7 CHIFFCHAFFS were also found, a PHEASANT was recorded here too, it's been a while since I've seen one! SWALLOWS zipped through on the wind in two's and three's, as did the only other summer visitor seen today, a YELLOW WAGTAIL.

Whilst over at the Lakes ticking off the regulars of MUTE SWAN, MALLARD, COOT and MOORHEN, a KINGFISHER was seen flying low over the main lake, then a few minutes later the raucous call of a RING NECKED PARAKEET (74) was heard, I picked it up as it headed West, soon flying out of view,  a bit of a dubious months addition, but i'll take it  :-)

BULLFINCH, COAL TIT, NUTHATCH, JAY, STOCK DOVE and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER were noted in the Scrubby Woods today, while the Small Holding held plenty of WREN, ROBIN, DUNNOCK, BLACKBIRD, CHAFFINCH, GOLDFINCH and a few GREENFINCH, most of these finches are here due to my garden feeders only 40 meters away as the finch flies  :-)

Few flyover species were added today, the already mentioned Buzzard, Swallows and Yellow Wagtail were joined by the likes of HERRING GULL, GREY HERON, the KESTREL pair, a SPARROWHAWK, a skein of  8 CANADA GEESE, then a skein of 30-40 GREYLAG GEESE, a few more Meadow Pipits, a GREY WAGTAIL that dropped into the Greenhouse Grounds and a party of 4 CORMORANT were it for the day  :-)

A pre Sunday dinner photo session in my garden was a bit hit and miss, but a couple of images were taken  :-)