I'm back home and after my usual few high-summer weeks of distancing myself slightly from the patch by sleeping in, going on long-distance twitches and avoiding the sun, I am considering myself to be back in patching mode. Started yesterday and this was rewarded by hearing a small flock of Crossbills over Ruffett Wood. Today I heard at least one bird in the same area, possibly from/having just left one of the pine trees there. Viewing the pines in Ruffett Wood is difficult but I wouldn't be surprised if there's a small flock that's been feeding in there. It would be great to get some views and pictures of them in the trees as the best I've managed of Crossbills in the past there is lame record shots of some of the fly-overs.
Also today I was watching one of the resident Common Buzzards when I picked up an interesting bird very high up and very distantly. It took a while for me to work out whether it was a large wader or a tern as it slowly approached head-on but it became clear that it was the former. The bill was long and I eventually discerned this to be slightly down-curved, the wings were unmarked and it had a white wedge up the back and it was flapping quite slowly. I managed to get a couple of very poor record shots which support my strong suspicion of it being a Curlew. The second record this year of this rare species for the patch, there's usually one or two records a year. The other was in May.
Also joined Peter Alfrey at the Bioblitz at the Sutton Ecology Centre and helped him with a bird walk which was very quiet until the last minute when a Red Kite flew over - quite a shocker!