They say that football can be a game of two half's well I think this also applies to birding, I like to blitz this place as much as I can during the busier times of the year, as I've learnt in the past so much can change within a few hours or even minutes. Due to work commitments the morning session only lasted a couple of hours between 6:20 - 8:20am, and to be honest it felt very quiet pretty much everywhere, the main highlights were 1 Tree Pipit, 12 Blackcaps, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Whitethroats, 6 Willow Warblers, 4 Chiffchaffs, 70 Linnets, 1 Green Woodpecker, 12 Swallows, 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrels, 55 Ring-necked Parakeets and 25 Black-headed Gulls, but as the weather was improving all the time I couldn't wait to get back.
After work the afternoon session started off at 3:45 - 5:00pm, which was excellent and such a difference from this morning, it only took until 4pm, till the first good bird off autumn arrived, I was by the horse paddocks watching 2 Hobby's chasing Swallows when all of a sudden a Richard's Pipit came out of an area of long grass, it was then spooked by a horse and flew off high in a westerly direction constantly calling as it went, I do believe this is my 4th record for the site. After that the rest off the day just got better with a new fresh arrival of 6 Whinchats, 4 Wheatears, 3 Yellow Wagtails and 40 Swallows. At 4:35pm the gulls went a bit mad over the paddocks and when looking up the first of 2 Common Buzzards for the autumn were seen heading slowly east, a great end to the day just a shame I couldn't have been there for the rest of it.
Of interest an orange colour ringed Herring Gull was in the paddocks this afternoon but I couldn't get close to the bird for a photo.
Monday 30th August
A very difficult morning in blustery conditions so it was hard to say what was actually around but it did produce a Pied Flycatcher sheltering from the wind, also 1 Hobby, 5 Blackcaps, 3 Whitethroats, 15 Swallows, 5 Green Woodpeckers, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Sparrowhawks and 10 Ring-necked Parakeets.
Sunday 29th August
I could only manage a very quick hour walk round today so the best of the bunch was 1 Whinchat, 8 Yellow Wagtails, 10 Swallows and 2 Green Woodpeckers with singles of Chiffchaff and Blackcap.
Saturday 28th August
Today's list included a total of 41 species including 2 Whinchats which were new for the year but unfortunately it didn't start off that well. When I arrived outside the main cemetery entrance lying by the kerb was a Spotted Flycatcher which to be honest didn't look in great condition, when approaching the bird it was pretty obvious that it had suffered damage to it's right wing and struggled to fly anywhere, shortly after I decided to take the bird to the vets where on examination it had suffered a broken wing, sadly I don't need to say anymore to the overall outcome, but in my own mind at least it was put out of its misery rather than suffer in another way. Soon after the Spotted Flycatcher was seen a Marsh Harrier headed north over the main entrance which contributed to a good day amongst the commoner migrants. Also noted was 2 Pied Flycatchers (including 1 ringed bird), 1 Sedge Warbler, 5 Lesser Whitethroats, 8 Whitethroats, 8 Blackcaps, 3 Willow Warblers, 4 Chiffchaffs, 1 Wheatear, 2 Swifts, 20 Swallows, 2 House Martins, 2 Curlews north, 2 Sparrowhawks, 20 Ring-necked Parakeets, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 20 Linnets, 1 Common Gull, 3 Long-tailed Tits and a single Goldfinch.
Wednesday 25th August
There was a slight change from yesterday with 6 Willow Warblers added to the total and 100 Swallows, also noted was 4 Lesser Whitethroats, 12 Whitethroats, 8 Blackcaps, 3 Chiffchaffs, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 5 Green Woodpeckers, 30 Linnets, 17 Ring-necked Parakeets, 5 Long-tailed Tits, 2 Sparrowhawks, 2 Kestrels, 100 Herring Gulls and 31 Crows.
Tuesday 24th August
Bird wise there was certainly a slight improvement on Sunday's performance, more than I can say for watching Liverpool's effort at Manchester City last night I wonder if they really do have the quality to win the Premiership, anyway today's highlights on the patch were 4 Lesser Whitethroats, 10 Blackcaps, 10 Whitethroats, 2 Chiffchaffs, 7 Swallows, 3 House Martins, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 40 Linnets, 4 Green Woodpeckers, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel and 40 Ring-necked Parakeets.
Sunday 22nd August
Dave Gilbert and I covered the area today but it was extremely quiet, at best was a Peregrine Falcon over the paddocks, 1 Willow Warbler, 40 Swallows, 40 Linnets, 2 House Martins and 1 Chiffchaff.
Friday 20th August
There was certainly a clear out of birds today, new overnight arrivals included 1 Garden Warbler with the rest being pretty much the same, others noted were 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Blackcaps, 5 Whitethroats, 3 Willow Warblers, 3 Chiffchaffs, 7 Swallows, 4 House Martins, 3 Green Woodpeckers, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 15 Linnets, 1 Sparrowhawk, 72 Ring-necked Parakeets and 2 Common Gulls.
Thursday 19th August
Like many birder's I can't wait till the autumn gets underway, and one of the challenges I love is to hopefully find this beauty the Wryneck one bird I certainly do enjoy watching, I have managed to find 17 birds on the patch since 1991, with a record total of 4 birds in 2006. In 2002 a bird was present for a record 29 days from the 13th September to 11th October, there has only ever been 1 spring record, with the latest autumn departure date being the 23rd October so lets hope another can be found this year.
Today was the best so far this autumn with a few different varieties seen, the day started off well with the first bird being a Pied Flycatcher no (91) for the year, followed shortly after by 3 Whimbrels which headed north/west. In total I spent several hours thrashing out all the area which also included 1 Tree Pipit east, 1 Peregrine west, 1 Hobby, 1 Cuckoo (now a very scarce bird here in autumn), 1 Sand Martin, 1 Wheatear, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 6 Willow Warblers, 13 Whitethroats, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 45 Swallows, 3 Swifts, 30 House Martins, 7 Blackcaps, 3 Sparrowhawks, 1 Kestrel, 3 Green Woodpeckers, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 15 Linnets, 109 Ring-necked Parakeets, 1 Goldfinch and 150 Wood Pigeons.
Wednesday 18th August
Once again today I could only manage an hour between 5-6pm, which produced 1 Sand Martin, 1 Tree Pipit, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 1 Willow Warbler, 2 Blackcaps, 5 Whitethroats, 1 Chiffchaff, 7 House Martins, 13 Swallows and 3 Sparrowhawks.
Tuesday 17th August
I only had an hour spare this morning this in turn produced the first Tree Pipit of the year, also present were 2 Willow Warblers, 5 Whitethroats and a single Chiffchaff.
Sunday 15th August
I went out for a few hours this morning in rather windy conditions, it was certainly hard work doing the patch but it did produce 5 Wheatears in the paddocks, 3 Blackcaps, 5 Whitethroats, 4 Green Woodpeckers, 10 Linnets, 20 Mistle Thrushes, 2 Rooks, 10 Swallows, 1 Corn Bunting, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 3 House Martins, 1 Kestrel and 10 Lesser Black-backed Gulls.
Saturday 14th August
Of interest whilst shopping in Sainsbury's today there was 2 Pied Flycatchers in the car park.
Wednesday 11th August
The morning produced 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 1 Garden Warbler, 8 Willow Warblers, 10 Whitethroats, 5 Blackcaps, 1 Chiffchaff, 3 Green Woodpeckers, 88 Ring-necked Parakeets, 1 Swallow, 10 Linnets, 6 Rooks, 15 Magpies and 1 Kestrel.
Tuesday 10th August
Today's sightings included a total of 227 Ring-necked Parakeets many of the birds heading north, there was also a trickle of warblers including 10 Whitethroats, 4 Willow Warblers and 6 Blackcaps. Others recorded were 4 Green Woodpeckers, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 6 Rooks, 1 Sparrowhawk, 8 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 200 Wood Pigeons.
Monday 9th August
|Juvenile Green Woodpecker|
It was another pleasant walk round today with a few birds to go with it, the main highlight was another adult Mediterranean Gull which headed east over the garden of rest, there was also a nice selection of warblers flitting around the bushes which included 1 Sedge Warbler, 4 Garden Warblers, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 12 Willow Warblers, 20 Whitethroats and 7 Blackcaps. Others noted were 9 Swallows, 64 Ring-necked Parakeets, 13 Linnets, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 4 Green Woodpeckers, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel, 2 Jackdaws and 2 Long-tailed Tits.
Sunday 8th August
I had family visiting today so I didn't have time to complete the whole circuit, in the little time I had my efforts were concentrated around the paddocks, this in turn produced my first juvenile Wheatear of the autumn, followed by a Golden Plover which was seen heading east over the garden of rest.
Saturday 7th August
|Myna bird sp|
Today was certainly interesting, I started off a little later than usual at 8:40am, after a long spell of heavy showers delayed proceedings, when arriving it was fairly busy with a few warblers flitting around the area but very little moving overhead. When entering the allotments the first decent bird noted was a Sedge Warbler no (89) for the year, followed by 1 Garden Warbler and 1 Lesser Whitethroat, there was also a total of 20 Whitethroats, 11 Willow Warblers and 6 Blackcaps scattered around the area, but probably the most interesting of species was seen when entering the garden of rest. A strange like call was frequently heard in trees near the paddocks a bit similar to a Green Woodpecker with a sore throat, but what it was I had not a clue. After a couple of minutes the bird showed itself as either a Jungle or White-vented Myna, a rather classy bird especially in flight with its prominent white wing bars, although it will never get on the British list it was certainly an interesting spectacle watching this bird flying around even if it had the disapproval of the local Blackbirds. I watched the bird on and off for about 10 minutes before it eventually disappeared further into the cemo sheltering from the next heavy downpour. Other bits today included 18 Swifts, 2 House Martins, 10 Linnets, 4 Ring-necked Parakeets, 4 Green Woodpeckers, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers and 2 Goldfinches.
Friday 6th August
I could only cover the patch early morning for a couple of hours, it seemed quite busy within that time and there was a few bits around including 1 Garden Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 18 Whitethroats, 7 Willow Warblers, 6 Blackcaps, 7 Swallows, 103 Ring-necked Parakeets, 4 Lapwings, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 4 Green Woodpeckers, 18 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 11 Linnets, 1 Sparrowhawk and 1 Pied Wagtail.
Thursday 5th August
The strangest record today was a Redshank which was originally heard calling and then seen heading west over the crematorium, apart from that it was pretty much business as usual on a quiet session with 8 Willow Warblers, 10 Whitethroats, 2 Blackcaps, 84 Ring-necked Parakeets, 4 Green Woodpeckers, 3 Kestrels, 8 Rooks, 10 Linnets and 2 Goldfinches.
Wednesday 4th August
The worst moment of the day was a rather unfortunate juvenile Green Woodpecker which got taken by a Sparrowhawk in the garden of rest, all the Woodpecker did was to land in a pine tree, but little did he know that one of his enemies was already there lying in wait for his breakfast. Within seconds the Sparrowhawk had the bird between its claws and off with its meal towards the rubbish dump. On a good note an adult Mediterranean Gull was seen heading east over the allotments which also held 1 Lesser Whitethroat and most of the 11 Whitethroats. Willow Warbler numbers were slightly down but still produced 8 birds, but at least 6 Blackcaps were around the site. Other bits today included 9 Swallows, 15 Linnets, 2 Rooks, 99 Ring-necked Parakeets, 3 Green Woodpeckers, 1 Sparrowhawk, 70 Wood Pigeons and 30 Starlings.
Monday 2nd August
Star bird of the day without a doubt was a Wood Warbler a bird I haven't recorded here for a long time, in years gone by I used to get them on passage quite frequently but times have certainly changed and apart from today the last sighting was several years ago. A stunning bird which showed well between 7:35 - 7:40am, in a small woodland area before disappearing high up into the canopy. Dave Gilbert and I had another look tonight but without any joy, also today was the first Garden Warbler of the year. Other highlights included 14 Willow Warblers, 4 Blackcaps, 9 Whitethroats, 14 Swallows, 8 Swifts, 2 Cormorants (north), 6 Rooks, 82 Ring-necked Parakeets, 15 Linnets, 1 Goldfinch, 2 Lapwings (both juveniles in the paddocks), 30 Starlings, 7 Green Woodpeckers, 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers and 170 Wood Pigeons.
Sunday 1st August
Dave Gilbert covered the recording area today which produced 1 Hobby, 12 Willow Warblers, 4 Whitethroats, 1 Blackcap, 13 Swifts and 40 Swallows.