I'm not even sure how to start this post really, I don't want to miss out the last few months, however I need to start somewhere and this Sunday just gone was a truly superb migrant spectacle on the local patch. Stepping out a little later than I had planned - Alcohol was not involved, just a long week at work! I was struck immediately by the pulses of Hirundines over the Rodwell trail, sadly they were moving on quite a broad front and after a few minutes sample counting I gave up, 5-6000 an hour between Portland Harbour and Smallmouth was my estimate, Sand Martin was not left out with a good few passing in amongst the Swallows. I've got a nice little spot I like to Vismig from along the coast path, it's just below the pop up campsite at Swallows Rest B+B, a high point along the walk. I gave it an hour or so here before deciding to kick around in some fields and Hedgerows, my totals were about on par with those recorded on Portland for the morning so I was rather pleased.
Meadow Pipit - 280+
Tree Pipit - 18
Grey Wag - 20
Reed Bunting - 2
Wheatear - 2 (plus others on the ground)
Barwit - 2
Linnet - 19
House Sparrow - 3
Swallow - 1000+
Trudging the adjacent fields a family party of Stonechat were harbouring a couple of Whinchat, several Meadow Pipits flushed up including the odd Tree Pipit too - which was probably one bird getting up lots of times. A bird caught my eye as it flew to the ground and then returned to a perch, immediately I grabbed a few photos, I though to myself "Woodchat Shrike would be nice" only It bloody was, I just hadn't quite realised it! It was obscured a lot and looking at my images I realized I was right, although with a bit of panic setting in I doubted myself about the ID - It then popped out no more than 3 meters away...
Several locals appeared and I moved on to other parts of my patch, loads of birds and a superb morning had. I finally made it home at 3:45 fairly knackered but I managed a celebratory beer before a nap! Seriously on it for the autumn now, can't wait for my birding holiday in October - with plenty more blogging!