Today's rather interchangeable weather looked good for a possible early autumn migrant on the patch. Ok, so its called Autumn migration but really this return passage of birds runs anywhere between July and October. Anyway the day didn't disappoint.
Late morning TS recorded a Common Sandpiper at Captains Pool. 2 Common Terns were also present. By the time I was able to get to the patch (late afternoon) there was no sign of either species from the dam. Sod's law but great records all the same.
From Captains Pool I headed over to Butts Lane. The pair of Common Whitethroats that have bred bear the drainage pond were busy feeding 3 fledgelings. The walk along the set-aside didn't produce any new additions to the previous days butterfly list, with only a single Gatekeeper again present. I did get a nice photo of mating Small Whites and I also took the opportunity to take some more photos of the patch flora.
I then headed over to Heath Lane and shortly after arriving at the paddock I picked up a stunning
♂Whinchat that was flicking down to ground a back from the right hand fence line. This is the first patch Whinchat of the year, there were none recorded on Spring passage. It was a stunning individual with a lovely white supercilium and not too far off what you would expect fresh spring plumage bird to look like. This Whinchat is probably a failed breeder making an early migration but during these dead days of summer birding it was a welcome sight indeed. Other notable birds in this area were 40+ Common Swift, a Kestrel and 5 Linnets on the wires.
Whinchat (a distant record shot)
Click on photo to enlarge
Evening Primrose (Oenothera erythrosepala)