Thanks to all of you who commented on yesterdys stonechat, its nice to have an interesting bird to study. It certainly wasn't your ''run of the mill'' female stonechat! I'll take it anyway! A new year tick is always welcome, and especially as this Stonechat was my first ever spring record! They do occasionally turn up in autumn, but have only been recorded in 4 out the 8 years of recording.
Back to today, and the sun came out as I left work, (makes a change, it's normally the other way round!) and as I came through migrant alley, I saw that wooden fencing was being put around the fields, to prevent access to the forthcoming gas pipeline, so the work begins. )-:
After dinner I went over to find that migrant blackcap over at the lake area. Before getting there, I watched a Male SPARROWHAWK circling low over the woods, not a good omen! The 'scolding' GREAT TIT again had a go at me as I walked passed it's territory, and the same thing happened when I passed a COAL TIT, a hole was found that I think it may be using as a nest site. On getting to the lake, I scanned it briefly, but nothing was on it, only a pair of CANADA GEESE a MALLARD and two MOORHEN, so I went and sat by the scrubby orchard to have a listen. DUNNOCKS were the most numerous, followed by various Tit species, and a SISKIN was singing high up in an ash, nice to get that on the april list, then, the sound I had been waiting for, the sweet rushed melody of a BLACKCAP (83) was heard ! It didn't give it's all, but it sure sounded good, I knew he'd turn up at this spot eventually, and just 2 days later than the mean arrival date.
I made my way over to Migrant alley despite all the work and disruption going on, mainly just to see if I could access my ''seat'', which I could, so I sat and watched the sky for a while, all the fields were empty, as a nail gun was being used to put the new fence rails on, and a tractor was banging down the main posts. I kept scanning the hedgerow for yesterdays Stonechat but it was gone. I did see 3 more SWALLOWS though, 2 went N, and the other was hanging around feeding over the Greenhouses, it could well be one of the local breeders. The only other birds of note were a gang of 4 HERRING GULLS and a KESTREL.
Below is the 'Scolding' Great Tit
Next is a LONG TAILED TIT I found in the wet woods