22 September 2014

Monday 22nd September

With the prospect of Yellow-browed Warblers etc not to far away it is hopefully going to be an exciting last few weeks of the autumn, and today there was a few bits on the move. The morning started well with the first Brambling of the autumn which headed west over the cemo, and was soon followed with a Tree Pipit heading south. Once again Meadow Pipits were trickling north with another excellent patch count of 400+ birds (A great year for them so far). The scarcest of today's birds was a Little Egret which headed west, and there was also a handfull of Swallows passing through with 60 birds heading north, and later on a Sand Martin. The ever so elusive Little Owl put in a brief performance by the Garden of Rest as did a Firecrest, and there was a total of 4 Yellow Wagtails, 1 Whinchat and 1 Wheatear around the paddocks. Other bits included 2 Grey Wagtails west, 2 Blackcaps, 8 Chiffchaffs, 7 Chaffinches, 6 Common Buzzards, 2 Kestrels, 6 Green Woodpeckers, 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 7 Long-tailed Tits, 1 Goldcrest, 2 Rooks and 30 House Sparrows.    

Friday 19th September

Spotted Flycatcher
Eventually after the horrid morning mist finally disappeared I managed to get out to do some birding, with time now somewhat limited I rushed around the site and got done as much as I possibly could, and in the end it didn't disappoint. There was no Ravens on show today but watching another arrival of 600+ Meadow Pipits was somewhat good, once again many of the birds fed in the paddocks before heading off in a northerly direction. Much of today's activity was in the cemo with a Pied Flycatcher by the Garden of Rest and a Spotted Flycatcher near the main entrance, another Redstart briefly showed itself by the paddocks which also produced 7 Whinchats, 3 Wheatears and a Yellow Wagtail. Warbler numbers were slightly better with 12 Blackcaps, and there was also 3 Chiffchaffs by the cement works. Other bits included 1 Coal Tit, 5 Common Buzzards, 3 Kestrels, 2 Goldcrests, 7 Long-tailed Tits, 3 Green Woodpeckers, 3 Chaffinches, 4 Mistle Thrushes, 2 Swallows, 70 Linnets and 3 Skylarks.  

Thursday 18th September

Its going Raven mad another 4 birds over the patch today.
Well September so far has been pretty dam good, today once again the patch threw up another surprise, this time it was a count of 4 Ravens which I originally heard cronking away over the paddocks at 9:50am, whilst watching some rather active Whinchats, unfortunately due to getting on the birds late I couldn't get front views through the camera so had to settle for second best. Nevertheless its another excellent record for the site and a rather unexpected one I must add, may be due the last couple of days there may be a little influx who knows. The rest of the area was also pretty busy with 12 Whinchats and 6 Wheatears in the paddocks followed with a Redstart and Pied Flycatcher which was present in the allotments. Once again warbler numbers were pretty poor with just 4 Blackcaps, 1 Whitethroat and 3 Chiffchaffs but at least the raptors fared better with a female Merlin east late morning, 1 Hobby, 5 Common Buzzards, 3 Sparrowhawks and 3 Kestrels, there was also an excellent patch movement of 500+ Meadow Pipits which were scattered pretty much around the paddocks before many of the birds headed north. Other bits were 35 Swallows, 3 Green Woodpeckers, 7 Long-tailed Tits and 1 Goldcrest.    

Wednesday 17th September

Pied Flycatcher
It was another very good day around the area with a few migrants around, Dave and I watched the patch for over 8 hours and once again recorded the 2 Ravens which were present for 5 minutes in the paddocks at 9:50am, before heading off once again to the east. There was also a nice little arrival of 4 Pied Flycatchers and a Spotted Flycatcher which was near the main entrance. The paddocks was good with a Redstart, 14 Whinchats and 6 Wheatears but once again the warblers were a bit thin on the ground with just 6 Blackcaps, 1  Whitethroat and 7 Chiffchaffs. Other bits noted were a Firecrest, 1 Coal Tit, 3 Grey Wagtails east, 10 Goldcrests, 8 Swallows, 216 Meadow Pipits, 2 Kestrels, 3 Sparrowhawks, 1 Common Buzzard, 1 Grey Heron, 30 Linnets, 2 Jackdaws, 19 Mistle Thrushes and 3 Chaffinches.     

Tuesday 16th September

Ravens x 2
Well what a great start to the month on the patch with some very good birds around in the days that have been watched, I had another phone call from Dave this morning saying that there was 2 Ravens in the paddocks showing well, and then sitting in nearby pylons, I couldn't get there until the afternoon and not surprising by that time they had disappeared, but all was not lost, when at 1:20pm they reappeared in the same area another chance not only to see this giant of a bird but it would also be a photo tick for the patch if they decided to stay, and yes they did straight away they didn't disappoint and showed on the pylons for a good 15 minutes cronking away to each other, superb, snap shots done, as we tried to get a little closer they headed off to the east, but hopefully they may just return once again. Apart from that excitement it was pretty quiet on the smaller stuff but it still did produce 11 Whinchats, 12 Wheatears, 2 Chiffchaffs, 1 Hobby, 3 Common Buzzards, 3 Kestrels, 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Peregrines, 2 Golden Plovers, 9 Green Woodpeckers, 5 Jays, 48 Swallows, 18 Meadow Pipits and 26 Linnets

Monday 15th September

Juvenile Swallow
Unfortunately during the last week I have pretty much been away from the patch, so today I couldn't wait to get back, and within the 3 hours of being out I recorded some nice bits. The cemo was certainly the busiest with a Pied Flycatcher near the crematorium and a Redstart which was flicking about by the Garden of Rest. Another surprise was that there was now 2 Coal Tits (still patch rarity), which were mixed in with a Firecrest, 3 Goldcrests, 7 Chiffchaffs and 7 Long-tailed Tits. The allotments was quiet with just 2 Blackcaps, but the paddocks fared slightly better with 2 Whinchats, 7 Wheatears, 2 Yellow Wagtails and most of the 300+ Swallows which were feeding overhead before heading north/west. Other bits included 5 Common Buzzards east, 1 Grey Wagtail west and good total of 300+ Meadow Pipits mainly heading north, 300+ Linnets, 2 Kestrels, 1 Merlin south, 3 Green Woodpeckers, 1 Chaffinch and 25 House Sparrows. Overall a rather enjoyable spell. 

Monday 8th September

Golden Plovers
It was another fairly quiet day that was until I went home at 1:05pm and then received a call from Dave stating that at 1:10pm, he had just found a STONE CURLEW in fields near the paddocks, I just had enough time to rush back but unfortunately I did miss it and after 1:30pm it could not be relocated, another gem bird for the autumn, and the 5th record for the patch. Other bits around were 21 Golden Plovers, 1 Grey Wagtail, 72 Swallows, 5 Chiffchaffs, 11 Blackcaps, 3 Whitethroats, 6 Whinchats, 3 Spotted Flycatchers, 3 Peregrines, 2 Common Buzzards, 6 Sparrowhawks, 70 Meadow Pipits, 23 Grey Partridges and 2 Lapwings.  

Sunday 7th September

Dave watched the patch today and it was a lot more quiet than yesterday, bits recorded were 7 Spotted Flycatchers, 9 Whinchats, 5 Blackcaps, 5 Whitethroats, 90 Swallows, 2 Wheatears, 5 Green Woodpeckers, 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 6 Jackdaws, 2 Sparrowhawks, 13 Pied Wagtails, 12 Linnets and a single Goldfinch

Saturday 6th September

Another brilliant day with plenty of migrants on show, once again the patch was covered pretty much all day between Dave and I, we couldn't relocate the Wryneck so presumed it had gone but the rest are as follows: 1 Redstart, 9 Whinchats, 4 Wheatears, 9 Spotted Flycatchers, 16 Blackcaps, 7 Whitethroats, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 6 Willow Warblers, 9 Chiffchaffs, an excellent movement during the day of 4,500 Swalllows heading north/west, 12 House Martins, 1 Sand Martin, 1 Coal Tit, 1 Grey Wagtail, 5 Green Woodpeckers, 220 Linnets, 8 Song Thrushes, 5 Meadow Pipits, 2 Peregrines, 16 Common Buzzards (including 14 birds together heading north/west at 11:45am, 3 Sparrowhawks and 4 Kestrels

Friday 5th September

Wryneck (distant record shot) in the horse paddocks, probably the same bird seen on the 1st and 3rd but incredibly elusive disappearing for many hours.
Wow what a fantastic time, from the start it certainly felt like it could be a very good autumn birding day, not only was the weather pretty much spot on for the returning migrants but there was also 50 species recorded. Dave and I between us watched the area for a good 8 hours and it was all systems go pretty much from the start. Best of all was of course the Wryneck which Dave located in the horse paddocks at 12:43pm, and which showed distantly on and off for several minutes before heading into the Garden of Rest. We are pretty sure that this is the same bird which has been present since the 1st but is incredibly elusive, and it is only today that it as showed itself for any length of time. Of course being one of me favourites I loved it anyway, but as mentioned it was busy pretty much everywhere and this resulted in an excellent patch count of 25 Whinchats which were mostly scattered around the paddocks alongside 6 Wheatears and 2 Yellow Wagtails. There was also an excellent patch total of 8 Spotted Flycatchers mainly in the cemo and to go with it was a Pied Flycatcher which spent most of its time in a lone sycamore tree. All the other bits are as follows: 1 Tree Pipit, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 5 Whitethroats, 6 Blackcaps, 1 Willow Warbler, 3 Chiffchaffs,1 Common Buzzard west, 1 Peregrine, 1 Sparrowhawk, 3 Kestrels, 1,200 Swallows mainly heading north/west, 5 House Martins, 1 Little Owl, 4 Grey Herons north, 50 Lapwings north, 5 Green Woodpeckers, 4 Jays, 1 Chaffinch, 26 Robins, 206 Linnets, 30 Ring-necked Parakeets, 36 House Sparrows, 2 Rooks, 1 Great Black-backed Gull and 70 Black-headed Gulls.   

Thursday 4th September

On a lovely sunny day Dave and I between us covered the area for a good 8 hours, in return we managed to record the earliest ever site record of Fieldfare which was feeding in a Rowan tree before heading towards the crematorium, this has beaten the site record by one day, and it was certainly a surprise to say the least. We also managed to see the first Pied Flycatcher of the autumn, and its counterpart with 3 Spotted Flycatchers remaining in the same area as yesterday. The paddocks produced 9 Whinchats, 2 Yellow Wagtails and a single Wheatear, and the patch rarity the Coal Tit reappeared with the tit flock. Warblers today included 8 Chiffchaffs, 5 Willow Warblers and 3 Whitethroats and there was an excellent selection of raptors with a total of 15 Common Buzzards, 1 Hobby, 2 Sparrowhawks and 3 Kestrels. Hirundines was a bit thin with just 7 House Martins, 7 Swallows and 2 Sand Martins. Other bits were 4 Green Woodpeckers, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 7 Mistle Thrushes, 356 Herring Gulls, 58 Linnets and 7 Pied Wagtails.     

Wednesday 3rd September

It was another late afternoon visit today just after 5pm, but very rewarding nevertheless, but at least Dave managed to cover the patch for most of the day. Highlight was a Wryneck which I flushed from  the allotments at 5:40pm, to which then headed straight into the Garden of Rest. I presume this is the same bird that was present on the 1st due to the similar outcome. There was also a few other good bits feeding within the sun traps and included 2 Redstarts, 3 Spotted Flycatchers, 6 Whinchats, 2 Whitethroats and 1 Willow Warbler, there was 27 Yellow Wagtails and 78 Swalllows around the paddocks and a Little Owl which has become incredibly elusive of late. Raptors noted were 2 Peregrines, 1 Common Buzzard and 3 Kestrels. Also present was 290 Linnets, 6 Green Woodpeckers, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, and 20 House Sparrows

Tuesday 2nd September

Slightly disappointing I must say, I was only out for an hour first thing this morning to which I only watched the allotments and where the Wryneck showed yesterday, wow today was different on my perspective as I only managed to record just 3 Whitethroats, I had to leave by 8am, so left the rest to Dave Gilbert, he in turn saw 1 Redstart, 4 Spotted Flycatchers, 5 Whinchats, 6 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Hobbies, 2 Peregrines, 1 Sparrowhawk, 4 Kestrels, 3 Meadow Pipits, 276 Swallows, 164 Linnets, and excellent count of 160 House Sparrows the best count for a long time, 80 Crows, 2 Jackdaws, 4 Jays and 6 Green Woodpeckers.  

Monday 1st September

Today I didn't get onto the patch until 4:30pm, and on arrival there was plenty of activity, unfortunately it was also raining fairly heavy and getting darker which made life a bit more difficult. Highlight of the afternoon was the first patch Wryneck of the autumn which I flushed from some long grass in the horse paddocks at 5:02pm, it then headed somewhere in the Garden of Rest but after a good search I could not relocate it. Soon after I heard and then saw a Coal Tit (a patch rarity), which was in Pine trees by the crematorium, wow this is some what turning out to be good and I was beginning to wonder exactly what may of been seen during daylight hours, anyway I carried on and located a Redstart flicking around in the paddocks which also held a Little Owl which Dave Gilbert had earlier. Dave also recorded 10 of the 11 Common Buzzards during the day with at least 7 birds on show together, also 1 Hobby, 2+ Peregrines, 8 Kestrels and 3 Sparrowhawks making it a decent raptor day. Other bits included 3 Whinchats, 1 Wheatear, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 400+ Swallows many heading north/west late afternoon, 40 House Martins, 1 Willow Warbler, 3 Chiffchaffs, 2 Whitethroats, 2 Blackcaps, 6 Yellow Wagtails, 3 Meadow Pipits, 1 Snipe, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 200+ Linnets, 20 Ring-necked Parakeets, 35 House Sparrows and 4 Long-tailed Tits. A great day.      

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