It was again fairly quiet for birds, but this morning’s contribution to the fruitful progress of autumn included a Spotted Flycatcher and a Whinchat.
Despite overnight rain there was very little in the way of avian interest but butterflies took advantage of a brief interlude in the wet weather with at least 120 Painted Ladies, an Adonis Blue and the first 3 Silver-spotted Skippers of the autumn.
A bright start, in stark contrast to yesterday’s torrential afternoon downpours, was soon consumed by cloud, and although nothing was moving overhead the bushes were reasonably lively with the usual suspects. Among them were a Pied Flycatcher, trapped on the farm, and a Common Treecreeper, found in a net in the valley.
An interesting morning was at least dry and a good deal less windy than the weekend. The highlight by some distance was a Nightingale, trapped on the farm.
With the wind having fallen away it was a much better day than the last two. A reasonable arrival of warblers included 35 Whitethroats, 9 Lesser Whitethroats, a Garden Warbler and 21 Willow Warblers, 5 Wheatears were on the farm, a Black Redstart was at Fan Bay again (there were 2 Lighthouse Down yesterday), 211 Swifts drifted downchannel and a party of 9 Little Egrets flew SW out at sea. Butterflies included 36 Painted Ladies and an excellent 84 Chalkhill Blues on the weekly transect walk. Remarkably, the Queen of Spain Fritillary was found in the valley again yesterday, but couldn’t be relocated this morning.
An overcast morning that became increasingly breezy had little to recommend it, save for a few brief flurries of Swifts, 207 of which moved SW into the wind, while along at the Langdon end the first Wheatear of the autumn was found, along with another Black Redstart.
A typical early August weekend, with increasing numbers of Whitethroats (32 this morning) and Willow Warblers, as well as 17 Bullfinches, suggesting that they have had a very good breeding season. There was also a Black Redstart at Fan Bay yesterday, which is fairly unusual for the time of year and a further suggestion that they may have bred nearby.
There were a few more migrant warblers about than yesterday, particularly Blackcaps and Willow Warblers, though the former will have almost certainly have been from the local breeding population than originating from elsewhere. Pick of the bunch, though, was a young Pied Flycatcher, mist-netted at the top of the valley.
A sunny start to the new month brought a procession of 800 Swifts drifting along the cliff, a Yellow Wagtail overhead and 60 Swallows over the fields, helpfully drawing attention to a Hobby that zipped past. 9 Willow Warblers were also present along with at least 8 Green Woodpeckers, suggesting a good breeding season. While butterflies weren’t quite as exciting as two days ago, there can be few more subtly delightful than the Chalkhill Blue ………..