A dry morning was all the forecast gave before the rains would arrive at midday. They were right. Here I am at 1pm writing up my few hours of birding.
I gave Fluke Hall and Ridge Farm a look first. Chaffinches were on the move steadily but not overwhelmingly so, arriving from the west and south west, small parties or up to 25 birds either dropping into the immediate trees or beyond and out of sight. In my notebook I have 126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.10.5.6.28 = 118 in about one hour and fifteen minutes. I am pretty sure the Chaffinches had Bramblings with them as I could hear Brambling calls in the trees when I later walked through the wood.
Other species on the move from the west: 13 Tree Sparrow, 4 Greenfinch, 2 Meadow Pipit, 3 Alba Wagtail, 2 Song Thrush, 1 Grey Wagtail and 15+ Skylarks.
Just 4 Whooper Swans on the wheat and maize stubble fields today, the Pink-footed Geese rather late arriving from the marsh in the roadside field where the constant traffic means they are constantly on alert. I took the picture below as a lady with two dogs walked along the road shouting into her mobile phone; seconds later the geese were gone.
I decided to check out Knott End where the tide would be running in. Good numbers of waders here with 1900 Oystercatcher, 350 Knot, 140 Redshank, 1 Grey Plover, 22 Black-tailed Godwit and 12 Turnstone.
A walk along the river gave me 1 Rock Pipit, 1 Pied Wagtail, 3 Grey Wagtail, 15 Goldfinch and 1 Wheatear. The Wheatear was in someone’s front garden. Now there’s a good one to have on a garden list.
Beyond the golf course and to the south I could see the rain clouds building, but made it back to the car before the heavens opened.