Its September at last, the East Coast (well a bit of Yorkshire) has had some excellent rarities, and I stay at home and stick to my local patches. Actually, as Colin is busy all weekend, and as I have seen Eastern Olivaceous Warbler (plus loads of Booted, Barred Warblers etc) there is no real desperate need to go anyway.
Had Friday off again, and spent an hour in the morning at Norton Green. Met up with a couple of more regular visitors, but we did not see much. A Red Kite over the gypsy camp was about the best bird, and there are still a few warblers such as Whitethroat and Blackcap around. Swallows were moving south and lingering over the tip-I had a total of 30 while I was there.
Decided to go to Telegraph Hill for some vis mig, but the lay-bys were full so I just drove round for a bit, encountering more Red Kites up near Shillington.
Saturday morning was spent at Amwell. Did quite well in terms of species counted, as a few Teal and Wigeon were in, and there are now a lot more Shoveller, Pochard and Tufties. Large Gulls are also appearing, with Herring and Great Black Back present. Went for a walk across the Hollycross Dragonfly trail, encountering a few Migrant Hawkers, Common Blues and Common Darters. Marsh and Coal Tit were heard as well.
At the watchpoint, spent much of the time chatting to Jan and William, and we had a surprise bird in the calling Nuthatch which eventually flew out of a tree and over the water. We also had flyby Grey Wagtail, juvenile Hobby and Common Sandpiper.
This morning I thought I'd try Aston End and the river Beane in the hope of finding a Redstart again. Did not see one, in fact did not see much at all. It was a bit windy, and very cloudy, and all I saw in the way of possible migrants was single juvenile Chiffchaff and Whitethroat. The only unusual sight was a flock of 30+ Linnet.
Took the camera with me, and the flash with a view to trying it out on autumnal leaves, berries and so on. Did not see anything worth taking until I got to the old willow where I had found it encrusted with Sulpher Polyphore. This year is not as good, as the best bit was high up and obscured, but a small patch looked nice. The flash was a bit of a disaster, with the 'fill in' totally wiping the subject out. Eventually found a setting of around 1/64th that seemed to work by enhancing the texture without compromising the overall look.