Looking at the weather forecast last night it seemed likely that there would be some migrants arriving, so I set off from the House along Kingsdown Road with high hopes. By the time I'd passed Big Bruce (the WWII Gun), where I encoutered the first of five Redstarts and reached the Droveway it was obvious that there were a lot of new birds in. Here I took the decision to go to the farm first and the Paddock later.
Along the Droveway I encountered a lot of Goldcrests calling from the Hawthorn Trees lining the road, a couple of times I thought I heard the call of a Firecrest, but didn't manage to find it. At the farm the trees were alive with crests and Chiffchaffs and I got myself an old chair from one of the barns and sat for a while watching and hoping. I did see one Willow Warbler amongst the Chiffchaffs, and one Pied Flycatcher briefly worked away above my head before moving on, not to be seen by me again.
My route took me along the side of the Freedown and then to Orchid Bottom (AKA midway), where I'd photoed the Jays etc a couple of days ago. There were several Chiffs here and at least six Goldcrests and once again I could hear a Firecrest. With less options for hiding it was only a couple of minutes before it came into view before disappearing with the Goldcrests back into the bushes.
While I was watching the crests a Yellow Wagtail flew over and I heard the call of a Reed Bunting. In fact there were two and they landed on the hedge and midway and sat up excitedly when I "pished" at them! In the fields there were a couple of Wheatears, part of a total of five for the walk.
I walked back up to the monument and into the paddock. My decision not to come here first now seemed a mistake as the rumble of a tractor mowing the long grass meant that there was a deal of disturbance. Not that it was a bad thing, the long grass needs management or it becomes completely overgrown and of little interest. Just inside the gate a Spotted flycatcher as dashing about, before disappearing into the thicket behind the monument.
One of the family of kestrel was hunting nearby and allowed quite close approach, as I've said before I can't resist taking yet another shot of a hovering Kestrel, so amazing is their ability to hang in the air.
A Hobby dashed through and didn't follow the Kestrels example, so that by the time I had it in my viewfinder it was miles away (apologies for the rubbish picture).
The walk finished, more or less as it started with Goldcrests calling away. This one was at eye level and sat in the sun for a few seconds before popping in.
On the way back I called into Copperfield to see Tim Burden. It's always good to see him for a chat, and I was in desparate need of a coffee which he duly provided. Thanks Tim, I would'nt have made it home without you!