The sun shone early this morning, and there wasn't a breath of wind, excellent weather for finding those spring migrants! I wasn't disappointed, the fourth bird on my list was a WILLOW WARBLER, it sang from the boundary of my house up in a silver birch tree, one of my favourite summer songsters.
In less than 15 mins, 18 more species were seen or heard, from the loud MISTLE THRUSH to the quiet GOLDCREST, the morning was really buzzing with song and calls. SKYLARK, MEADOW PIPIT, LINNET, PIED WAGTAIL, STOCK DOVE and another WHEATEAR, my fourth individual this spring, were all out on the plough at Migrant Alley. A CORMORANT and two GREYLAG GEESE flew over whilst I scanned the fields, as did the only Gull of the day - a HERRING GULL.
In the wet woods the calls of GREAT, COAL, and BLUE TITS rang out, the CHIFFCHAFFS, BLACKCAPS and SONGTHRUSH were all doing their bit in the scrub area adjacent the lake, while NUTHATCH and TREECREEPER were both seen around the lake vegetation. I sat and listened for a while, hoping for the Cuckoo, but it wasn't here, but it almost was!! I recieved a text from the Oxon Hoath Birder, that one was calling, less than 1km to the north of me, surley tomorrow will be my turn ? A second visit to Migrant Alley, for a 'sit and watch' hour was productive, four more Meadow Pipits dropped in, 3 SWALLOWS were buzzing around, and my first two HOUSE MARTINS (85) of the year appeared, back from the blue, my earliest ever, by 4 days.
Five of the ''certain to be seen'' Migrants have now arrived. Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Blackcap, Swallow and House Martin, and two of the ''not so certain'' those being Wheatear and Sand martin.
With the year list on 85 now, and 7 more migrant species on the certain list, with another 4 on the not so certain, the 100 looks like it could be achieved for the second year running, providing those surprise migrants like Reed warbler and Redstart show up. I'm looking forward to the challenge!
Below are a couple of pics. of the Wheatear. Again migrant Alley provides me with the goodies.