The Safari looked out of the window just before 08.00 to see useless thick mist. Quarter of an hour later it had lifted and Meadow Pipits were on the move, how many had we missed...we had 35 up to 08.30, another 65 to 09.00 when the mist descended again but broke briefly 17 more + one going north in the half hour to 09.30. From then we only had another three to 10.15 when our tradesman called and watching was suspended for the morning. 117 for the session, biggest flock this morning was eight.
Two Robins were in the back garden early on and a Chiffchaff called from a neighbour's garden at the front as we waved Wifey off to work.
Overhead on our vis migging session we had singles of Siskin (Garden #39) and Song Thrush (Garden #40), seven Skylarks went passed including a flock of five. Wagtails were notable by their absence, only one 'alba' type was recorded until two together just after lunch.
At the feeders a couple of Blue Tits and a Great Tit kept us entertained but there were no Goldfinches this morning. We have a little Greenfinch thing going with FW over the next few weeks, we nearly equaled his six with a respectable five and a Chaffinch, the latter the first in the garden of the season. Also first for the season was a Long Tailed Tit, we'd heard more earlier but only one ventured into the garden briefly long after the others had left the area.
On the top of the pergola a juvenile Woodpigeon shuffled around like an aimless teenager after spending some time eating next door's Rowan berries; it looked like it had indigestion - a few minutes later an adult joined it and promptly began to feed it pigeon milk...this would have made a good photo but the camera never came out today due to the incredibly poor light.
After lunch the Wren put in an appearance, the first time we've seen or heard it since the nestlings fledged. We've taken down the nesting hanging basket but the bird seemed to be looking for it, perhaps as a somewhere snug to roost?
It was just about warm enough for insects to be on the wing, plenty of Common Wasps and a few bees and just one butterfly today, a Small White.
We were very lucky this afternoon to be very kindly taken out to the nature reserve by CR for an hour or so. This was the first we've been through the front door wearing shoes since our op and we literally felt 10 feet tall!
Birding is a bit difficult in a plaster cast and sling but we did our bit by finding a superb Mediterranean Gull which, on inspecting CR's pics, turned out to be Darvik ringed R141 or T pale green with white lettering - anyone know this bird?
An adult Water Rail eluded his lens but we didn't see the juvenile which we would have liked too as this is the first proven breeding of this species at the reserve :-))).
Huge numbers of Feral Pigeons in the fields to the east were disturbed by two Buzzards creating quite a spectacle. While all this was going on we heard a couple of Skylarks going over (MMLNR #106) bringing us closer to our target of 115 for the year at the nature reserve.
The gulls shuffled round a bit and more, mostly Herrings, began to drop in, one the newcomers was a second Mediterranean Gull...not been to the reserve for ages and we get two Meds - can't be bad!
Not only that the Water Rail put in another appearance allowing photography too, not by us it'll be a few weeks before we'll able to carry camera and bins at the same time.
Five Snipe were secreted behind the loafing uncounted Teal and Shovelers and we also saw a few Gadwall.
There were Migrant Hawkers aplenty and a singled Speckled Wood near the hide window from where we also heard a short snatch of song from a Cetti's Warbler.
All too soon our hour was up and CR had to get back to the grindstone. The way home provided some insight into the nature of the less salubrious human beast..a father was picking up his pan-lids from school armed with a can of strong lager which ended up chucked in the bottom of the adjacent hedge...fine behavioural examples to be setting to the children around him...disgrace!
A huge thanks to CR for offering to take us out.
Where to next? More vis migging, that weather is looking more interesting as the week goes on...Yellow Browed Warbler in the big Sycamore...now that WOULD do nicely! Wishful thinking??? Well there was a Golden Oriole just up the road this morning...nuff said.
In the meantime let us know what doubled up in your outback.