As I approached St Mary's Church a single Barn Owl was hunting along the long grassy/weedy field verge, a good start to the morning.
This morning was used to search for early signs of migrant species on the move. A few Warblers were seen and heard but the dominant species this morning was many observations of highly mobile Bullfinches. I was intent of taking a picture of Bullfinch, especially the resplendent male as I have yet to photograph one, I decided to rest my arms for a while after waiting for a bird to appear as they were in the area, yes, you guessed it, a stunning male appeared on a sprig which I was focussed on seconds earlier.
Walking along the course of the Peddars Way path a single Whitethroat uttered its "churrrr" alarm note from cover. The walk along the lane to Houghton Common produced calling Bullfinch in the dense tree-lined hedge, and indeed as the path opened into arable habitat further Bullfinches were heard. I recently saw a nice group of 5 juvenile Bullfinches at this locality.
I continued may walk through the wonderful corridor of hedgerows and was greeted by 2 singing Yellowhammers and alarm calling Blackcap.
Towards the end of the hedgerow corridor things started looking up when it was apparent that several Warblers were present, these included a couple of Whitethroats (one seen near ripe Elderberries), and a few Chiffchaffs. Local post-breeding movements or genuine migrants, that's the exciting thing about bird behaviour I find.
|A well stocked hedge at Houghton 9th August. Whitethroats and Chiffchaffs seen here today.|
|Buzzard. Probably a parent of a noisy nearby juvenile bird. The light reflected from stubble below shows of the markings beautifully on this bird.|
A couple of Green Woodpeckers were in the area, this included a very scaly juvenile bird seen on the ground before flying into nearby woodland. Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs, and Goldcrests featured in this nearby woodland.
Finally, I was attracted to a number of noisy "seeeu" calls low down close to the woodland floor, but I could not see movement, so I sat a while and waited. Eventually, several juvenile Wrens appeared along with at least one of the parent birds, I watched as the parents delicately took small food items from weeds and feed its young. The young Wrens appeared very weak in flight and seemed very recently fledged, clearly a very late brood.