After a couple of less-than-glorious days in Warwickshire, today started bright and dry (abeit with a stiff cool breeze). Perfect for a morning's birding in West Warwickshire with my occasional birding companion Jon.
Although the main migrant passage seems to have quietened down in the last week or so (just about the same time as I resumed my county birding in fact!) there was still plenty on show for me to enjoy in the farmland, gravel pits and river pools that we visited.
There were plenty of waders on show, although none of the rarer migrants we might have hoped for - having not seen much in the county for six months or so, I was perfectly happy with a haul that included Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Common Sandpiper, Oystercatcher, Redshank and Lapwing. Overhead were very good numbers of Swifts, some House Martins and the residents of a decent Sand Martin colony.
Several Buzzards and Kestrel flew regularly overhead (although none of the Red-footed Falcons I have been told to look out for), and in the hedgerows and scrubs we gathered a decent haul of smaller birds - including Linnet, Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Wren, Dunnock, Chaffinch, Sedge Warbler, Reed Bunting, Yellowhammer, Chiffchaff and Reed Warbler.
There were a few wildfowl species around - Mallards of course, plus Tufted Ducks, Gadwall and a lone Shelduck.
Add to that a smattering of other species - Grey Heron, Green Woodpecker, Coot, Canada Geese, Stock Dove, Blackbird, Wood Pigeon, Cormorant, Lesser Black-backed Gull and Pied Wagtail for example - and the chance to catch up on a little bit of local birding news from Jon, and you have my ideal kind of Sunday morning.
The photos show a view across the gravel pits, the patterning on some deep-drying mud, and part of the Sand Martin colony.
Bird of the Day: Linnet (Carduelis cannabina), a gorgeous little passerine which favours thick bushes and gorse - it's fairly common locally, but I rarely get close enough for a good look at its colours.