Yesterday was a good day on the patch. I did not have a chance to write about it as I birded for as long as I could before I had to go out for lunch, and when I got back I was several sheets to the wind and no good for anything. This morning however I am refreshed, enlivened by a few more unidentified Finches, and raring to go.
Collectively there were 4 Whinchat, 3-4 Redstart, 6 Wheatear, 3 Spotted Flycatchers, lots of Willowchiffs and the continuing Common Sandpiper. I saw most of these, and also scored a heard only Greenshank - more on that a bit later. I've said it before and I'll say it again - we punch above our weight during the migration seasons, especially in autumn. That would be a decent haul on the coast these days, but this is a few thousand square metres in London. And most of the birds were concentrated within about a hundred square metres, the area of brooms and hawthorn immediately to the east of Centre Road. Sometimes the concentration went further still, with many of the birds in the same bush - one small hawthorn might have two Redstart down the bottom, a Wheatear on the top, and some Whitethroats bouncing around the edges. More than once I saw a Whinchat and a Whitethroat share the same delicate stem as they followed each other around. Here are some photos.
My favourite photo of the morning was of one of the Redstarts. I could hear it calling softly from the sunny side of a bush, and so I crept round slowly, managing a few shots before it ducked back inside. I am not sure whether I prefer the full frame version or the tighter crop, so here are both.