I returned home Monday afternoon from Nethergong where the family camped for 3 days and although the weather was pretty good, there was a stiff wind for most of the stay making birding a challenge at times. I was able to get out a few times during the days with an early morning walk on Saturday and a few walks with the family in the evenings. I managed to see or hear 56 species which included 2 Whinchat (105), which were in the northern field with a male Stonechat. Although quite distant, I was able to get good views as they flew out from the fence line and returned back to the same area. When I returned thirty minutes later, they had gone leaving just the Stonechat in residence. This is the fine line between seeing birds and missing them sometimes but it made it all the worthwhile to connect with this species. Other birds of interest included 2 Swift, 13 Mistle Thrush, 2 Ring necked Parakeet, 5 Little Egret, 3 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Willow Warbler, 1 Turtle Dove, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Peregrine and 1 Hobby.
I returned this morning as the forecast looked good with light winds, arriving at 5.30am where I spent a good part of the day birding and looking for dragonflies. I managed to see or hear 51 species which is pretty respectable for August on the site. I checked all the likely areas hoping for a Flycatcher, Wheatear or even a Wryneck along the path but did not find any of the wanted species. Birds I did see included 1 Little Owl, 5 Bullfinch including 3 juvenile birds, 3 Green Woodpecker, 1 Great spotted Woodpecker, 1 Kingfisher, 5 Chiffchaff, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Grey Heron, 2 Blackcap, a mixed flock of c70 Swallow and House Martin and 1 Yellowhammer. There were 3 Mute Swan, 1 Ring necked Parakeet, 1 Green Sandpiper, 17 Mistle Thrush together, 1 Kestrel, 1 Marsh Harrier which I watched hunting along the stream where I was able to grab a few shots before it suddenly saw me and banked away, 1 Skylark, 1 Golden Plover, 1 Peregrine, 3 Common Buzzard and 1 Hobby. A nice if not very hot session and a good variety of birds to keep the enthusiasm going. Fingers crossed for a few more good autumn birds passing over the site.
Marsh Harrier (male)