For 3 and half hours this afternoon I searched the woods, fields, hedgerows and ditches, I scanned the sky and all the fenceposts, and there are now hundreds of them at Migrant Alley! However I could not find the one new species to equal the best ever monthly total.
Most of the migrant birds that have arrived on my patch to breed were seen or heard today, both species of WHITETHROAT, as well as BLACKCAPS, CHIFFCHAFF and a CUCKOO, while overhead SWALLOWS were buzzing around, and a lone HOUSE MARTIN chased insects over the drilled maize field at migrant alley, alighting on it for a short time. There was a party of around a dozen LINNETS, and a couple of GOLDFINCH, also around the horse paddocks. Whilst scanning the sky both SPARROWHAWK and KESTREL were seen, but there was no sign of the Swifts I saw last Sunday, two SKYLARKS defied the machinary that were driving to and fro over the fields, they got up and hoverred in the sky to deliver their silvery twittering song.
All in all though, April has still been a good month, 72 species is the best April total so far on my patch, with 12 of those year ticks, one of which was a patch tick. The combined April total for the 8 years now stands at 97, so I think next year I could well set a new April tally again, the mean species total for April is 67.5, so I was well ahead of that.
I'm now looking forward to May, and the target is to beat the record total of 68, set last year. But it's not all about figures, thats just my way of keeping up my enthusiasm to get out everyday! All my records are sent to the BTO via birdtrack, so they will all be used by them, and it's always nice just to get and see birds anyway, common or rare!
Not mant photo opportunities this afternoon, but here's one of a Goldfinch at Migrant Alley
and one of a singing Skylark, defying the noisey machines below it.