The morning rain cleared, to leave a cool blustery afternoon, but with some good sunny spells. I gave the lake and scrub area a miss, in favour of the tree nursery, Migrant Alley and the College grounds, the latter is the only place where I get the Spotted Flycatcher breeding.
In the blustery conditions, not a great deal was to be seen or heard as I walked round the nursery, some of the rabbit fencing was being replaced by more robust fencing, so there was some disturbance. GREEN WOODPECKER, LINNET and an overhead SKYLARK were about it. At migrant alley, huge mounds of earth have been thrown up by the earth movers, maybe it could prove attractive to some passing migrant, once the machines have gone quiet. A quick scan round the seedling maize crop, which is just showing the first green shoots, only provided me with another Skylark, more Linnets, teasing me by sitting on fences in the distance pretending to be a scarce migrant, and the usual corvids, with a flock of around 30 STARLINGS.
As I crossed the stable yard to enter the college grounds, SWALLOWS were on the overhead wires, I hope they are allowed to breed unmolested in the stables this year. Lots of common resident birds were in the grounds, BLACKBIRD, SONGTHRUSH and MISTLE THRUSH were all after the same quarry, for their nestlings, on the manicured lawns. A BLACKCAP managed to be heard over the wind, as did a CHIFFCHAFF but my main target species - the flycatcher was not to be seen, maybe this weekend they will turn up.
The last hour was spent back over on my seat, at migrant alley. I saw nothing at all in the sky to get me excited, a KESTREL did go over low, and a few SWIFTS were about, but I must confess after half an hour I dozed off!
I came to, and was going to call it a day, but I always have to have one last scan! This was a most fortunate move, for while I was napping, two migrant WHEATEAR had sneaked in, and onto the seedling maize! A great species to have in May on my patch, how fitting that this should bring up the 60th species for the month. I believe these are the latest Wheatear I have had during spring migration, i'll have to check - hang on.........no i'm wrong, the latest were in 2007. on the 20 May. I must be getting old, not only do I fall asleep while skywatching, but my memory is going too. Any tips Greenie!
Below is the Kestrel that went over Migrant Alley