Back to work today, and as I left, it was warm and still, a perfect morning for birding I thought, but I had to work! As I walked down ashes lane, the sub-station LESSER WHITETHROAT called loudly, the CUCKOO could be heard calling from the lake area, SWALLOWS skimmed over head, and a myriad of resident birdsong filled the air. I really didn't want to go in today!
I crossed Migrant Alley, and as I reached the last section of paddock, a small bird jumped up onto the wooden fence, I expected a Linnet (it nearly always is!) but as I diligently checked it out I was rewarded with a stunning male WHINCHAT (96), I was gobsmacked at this little stunner, I am used to finding the dowdy female/immatures on Autumn passage, but this is only the second spring record of Whinchat, the other was also a male back on 3rd May 2002! I spent some time just watching it from close quarters, so close I could see it was ringed on its left leg - oh for my camera!
This little encounter set me up for the first day back at work, I kept the vision in my head all morning.
On the way back home I scanned the fields for the little migrant, but it had moved on.
After something to eat and drink, I was off out to look round the scrub over at the lake area, it was sheltered from the fresh wind here, and it was pleasant just to sit and listen to the spring birds, WHITETHROAT, LESSER WHITETHROAT, CUCKOO, BLACKCAP, TURTLE DOVE and CHIFFCHAFF all were performing well, but there was no Garden Warbler today, the resident birds were all giving their best, but I think all but the SONGTHRUSH were out of thier league against the migrant birds.
I again made my way over to migrant alley, and despite a thorough search, I didn't re-locate that whinchat. SKYLARKS, PIED WAGTAILS, Corvids and a KESTREL were on offer though, plus the now daily sighting of the pair of PEREGRINES, surley they are a pair, and are breeding nearby. ? (not that I could say where on this forum, for their own protection)
When I got back home, I was doing the evening meal, and looking out onto the garden and was pleased to see two Songthrushes using the pond. Not very often I get one in the garden let alone two!
It was a bit dull but I got a photo of one of them.