Thursday, 3 September 2015

There were a few short lived sunny spells this morning, but it stayed mostly cool and cloudy in a light NW breeze.

My early walk around the paddocks and sheep pasture of Migrant Alley produced no grounded migrant species today, but I did hear a SISKIN (54) fly over. A look around the Greenhouse Grounds provided views of WHITETHROAT and at least 5 CHIFFCHAFFS that were in a nettle patch. One of the KESTRELS was back again on the Greenhouses, where there was a GREY WAGTAIL further along.

One of the Chiffchaffs at the Greenhouse Grounds

I had a bit of a surprise awaiting me as I crossed the Ashes Lane Field when a WHINCHAT was seen on the drainage ditch fence line, this may well of been the one seen at the Greenhouse Grounds / Migrant Alley yesterday. 

Approaching the Wet Woods I heard the trill of my first LONG TAILED TITS (55) of the month, at least 15 of them! They made there way along the edge of the Wet Woods and were joined by at least 5 TREECREEPERS and similar numbers of BLUE and GREAT TITS.

Trying to get a photograph of the Long Tailed Tits was problematical with all the leaves still on the trees and the shady conditions

The Treecreepers proved equally as frustrating, not staying still for a moment!

I made my way to the Scrubby Woods and lakes, where the latter gave me a KINGFISHER (56) for the September list, but little was noted around the woods, just one BLACKCAP a couple more Chiffchaff, GOLDCREST, NUTHATCH and a BULLFINCH family, however I also noted another 5 Siskin fly over, calling all the while. On my way back, through the Small holding, a LITTLE OWL (57) called from one of the adjacent large gardens, always good to get an Owl species on the months list :-)

The 4 hour visit was finished off with a sky watch from my seat over at Migrant Alley, this gave me fly overs from HERRING GULL and CORMORANT, as well of plenty of BUZZARD sightings, 5 were seen together, but many more were probably involved. At times the sky seemed empty, but looking through my binoculars I could make out hundreds of HOUSE MARTINS very high up, unseen with the naked eye.

Just one of the many Buzzards seen this morning

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

A few sunny intervals were welcome for todays patch visit, but it felt much cooler than of late despite these.

My early walk around Migrant Alley was, as yesterday, quite birdless, as far as bird numbers were concerned, but species wise the notebook was kept ticking along, with the likes of BLACKCAP, CHIFFCHAFF, WHITETHROAT, and a fly through HOBBY, which woke up the local SWALLOWS  :-)

With a circuit of Migrant Alley completed, I peered over the boundary hedgerow into the Greenhouse Grounds, where a couple more Chiffchaffs, another Whitethroat, and another Blackcap were seen, but I was in the right place at the right time, as the Greenhouse windows started to automatically open and out flew 30-40 PIED WAGTAILS, plus in among them were at least 4 YELLOW WAGTAILS, one of which perched on the roof, calling loudly before flying off SE. I was just going to move on, when a movement ahead of me on the fence line caught my attention, this turned out to be a brilliant little WHINCHAT (48) nice to get one on the September list :-)

Whinchat. I could only get to about 25 meters of this one, it was very wary!

I left the Whinchat to feed up, and headed for the Scrubby Woods to try and find the common species for the months list that were not seen yesterday, I didn't find Long Tailed Tit, Mistlethrush or Pheasant, but at least got the TREECREEPER (49), two of which chased around a large Oak. I checked the lakes whilst there, but only a GREY HERON was of note.

I then headed off home for a snack and drink, which I ate in the sunny part of my garden whilst I watched the busy feeders. A COAL TIT was seen, grabbing sunflower hearts from the feeder a sign of Autumn when they come back to the feeders.

Coal Tit back in the garden

Busy feeders

I was soon back off to Migrant Alley for a sky watch, on the way, passing through the Greenhouse Grounds, I found a WILLOW WARBLER (50) to bring the September list to 50, one of those lovely lemon yellow ones  :-)

My sky watch was quite productive, with lots of BUZZARDS about, hard to say how many, but the most seen together was four, a SPARROWHAWK was also up hunting and another Hobby flew through. HERRING GULLS and the first BLACK HEADED GULLS (51) of the month were seen as they flew over from time to time.  Small parties of HOUSE MARTINS flew over as well, with one party were a couple of SAND MARTINS (52) a good species for the September list. The only other notable flyover was from a CORMORANT, I wonder where the Kestrels were today ?

From my seat I had also been watching the Whinchat as it flitted along the Greenhouse Grounds  hedgerow and back out onto the fence line at Migrant Alley, never coming near for a decent photo, but as I had it in my binocular view, some 50 meters distant, I was elated to see it joined by a REDSTART (99,53), fantastic!! A real bonus bird for my year list in any year and takes this years tally to 99.  I tried to get a bit closer, in order to get a record shot, but both birds went to cover in the Greenhouse Grounds before I'd hardly moved!

I  did snap a Chiffchaff as some kind of compensation