First WeBS count, having taken over from Rich C, accompanied by my friend Mike Robinson - quiet as usual for September. The small area of open water near the hide almost dried up, only 4 snipe and no ducks at all on the site (the other day 60+ snipe flying about, 6 mallard and 14 teal). Water rail and moorhen audible in the reeds, 1 Cetti's N of the hide, 4 heron flying about. 4 chough overhead.
But most astonishingly - as we approached the hide, a party of 3 whinchats in close association, alternately perching on fenceposts, wire and bushes and swooping down to feed in the rushes. We were able to watch them for some time from the hide. They were very mobile and my compact camera was not up to the job. Then - half an hour later and half a mile away - on the track up from Starman's Hall to Gupton Farm, lots of birds feeding alongside the track including linnet, goldfinch, meadow pipit and a further 4 whinchats. They made use of the fence (wire and posts) and brambles, and as we advanced up the track they moved into the field on the left and perched on the big bales, again affording excellent views.
7 whinchats - I have never seen more than one at a time on spring or autumn passage. No wheatears today!