Here at last!
A much better day as far as the weather was concerned, no wind, no rain, no mist and murk, just a normal day!
I found the SPOTTED FLYCATCHER (98) this morning on my way to work, it was in the same tree as I recorded the first one in last year, in the college grounds - remarkable. I didn't see it on the way home, but after a drink and a sandwich I went back out to see if I could photograph it.
I first of all paid a quick trip to the lakeside scrub area, lots of song today, in the kinder conditions WHITETHROAT, LESSER WHITETHROAT, GARDEN WARBLER, BLACKCAP, CHIFFCHAFF, TURTLE DOVE and CUCKOO all sang, it was an impressive sound to hear them all going together! Numbers of SONG THRUSH sang also, more than in recent weeks.
As I walked through the tree nursery on my way to migrant alley, I found my first NUTHATCH of the month at last! It was in one of the mature oaks, in a large garden, adjacent to the nursery. The first fledged DUNNOCK was seen being fed in the part of the nursery that still has trees in it.
At Migrant alley, a SKYLARK sang and PIED WAGTAILS went back and forth with beakfulls of food for their fledgings, two of which were seen, it looks like a good breeding season on my patch so far this year.
I finally got over to the College grounds to try to find the Spotted Flycatcher, It didn't take long, I found it in a white spruce tree, I heard it long before I saw it, they dont really have a song, just a series of high pitched squeaks, but as I listened more carefully, it did give some warbling sounds. I got as near as I dared, not wanting to scare it off, and took some photo's of it. The shots were a bit disappointing I must admit, but there will be other chances. Whilst taking the photo's, 2 KINGFISHERS came flying out of the cover lining the college stream, calling loudly as they flashed past me, another new species for the for the month. 66 now, just two more to equal the May record set last year.
The Spotted Flycatcher is the last breeding migrant species that had yet to arrive on my patch, it was 7 days later than the mean arrival date, but not the latest, that was in 2003 when they arrived on the 15th! Now all 'my' regular migrants are on the year list, it will be difficult to add many more species to it. Of the passage migrant species I might see, the most probable are Sedge Warbler, and Common Tern, but they are scarce on my patch!
Other birds of note seen around were KESTREL, SPARROWHAWK and PEREGRINE, as well as two Gull species LESSER BLACK BACK and HERRING.
Below is the first Spotted Flycatcher of the year -hurrah!
Below: Pied Wagtail with beakfull of fledgeling food