Patch watching open up a whole new dimension to Birding, and as you get to know your patch, you get to know whats regular, and whats not.
It get's you to pay attention to weather conditions, and the state of migration, and many painstaking hours often result in absolutly nothing.
Just occasionally though, your hopes come true, and you do get a good patch bird. It may not be a rare bird, but a good patch bird.
I went out in the afternoon, with a desire to find some migrants.
And it wasnt really eventful, and there was very little about, however, after walking through the small wood between Lickhill and the Riverside fields i heard a series of 'huit' notes emerging from the bank above me, adjoining the farmers fields. However the bird was hidden and it was some time untill the bird eventually emerged, a Chiffchaff. So it turned around and scanned across the fields.
It was a minuite or two before i turned around again, and as i did i noticed a bird perched up on the fenceline, a much larger bird than the previous Chiffchaff, but still producing the 'huit' call. I knew even before i had my bins on it that i was watching a patch MEGA!
A female REDSTART!
I was just training my scope on the bird, and raising my camera to the lens when the bird flitted along the hedgeline, and wasnt seen again! I stayed in hte area for about 30 minuites, but all i had from this point was the bird calling as it flew further, and further alon the hedgeline, into the fields.
A great patch bird. Redstart is unusually rare on my patch, proberbly because i've overlooked them because of the huge amounts of habitat where they could be hiding rather than due to actually them being rare. I suppose thats a bad point about birding such a heavilly wooded patch.