A shower that passed over as I walked home from work proved to be the last of the afternoon, so my walk was dry, but it felt cool in the still gusty wind. The birds were more evident than yesterday, but that wasn't hard! The first birds of note were a NUTHATCH, a pair of BULLFINCH, a COAL TIT and a pair of LONG TAILED TITS all in a large spreading Blackthorn tree that grows in the smallholding area. Whilst in the wet woods, I looked for the brood (s) of Mallard, but didn't find them, however there is a lot of hiding places amongst the trees so they may still be around. A GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER drummed, and in one of the tallest trees in the wood a MISTLE THRUSH sang loudly.
The footpath that leads from the wood to the lake area provided a good photo opportunity, when a pair of GOLDCREST let me get close, a little further on a GREAT TIT scolded me harshly - no doubt I had stryed to near to his nest site.
Nothing much at the lake, the usual CANADA GEESE, MOORHEN and MALLARD, with Bullfinch's calling from the surrounding vegetation. I walked back along the path, to the woods and crossed into the tree nursery, which still holds nothing at all since being emptied of trees. I did keep an eye on the sky though, while heading for Migrant alley, just in case a the first Swallow flew into view. Swallows were my main target as I sat on the horse jump and scanned the sky, a PHEASANT called and ruffed his feathers somewhere behind me, and a pair of LITTLE OWLS ''yapped'' loudly at one another from the nearby copse. Once more a SKYLARK was heard singing, and as I scanned to find the 'dot' that it was, being so high up, I saw the first LAPWING of the month fly past my view, the first in fact since the 8th Feb. Not much happened in the next 20mins or so, until a familiar 'hirundine' type trilling was heard overhead, I saw a small black dot and thought ''a swallow''! However, once getting my bins onto it I saw it was just another SAND MARTIN. Who am I kidding, 'just' another Sand martin ? This is only the 3rd spring record I had! The Swallows will make their appearance shortly............
Above and below is the Goldcrest I found along the footpath.