April, probably the best birding month of the year, anything could turn up on, or flyover my patch in this month. This is reflected in the combined total of the 8 previous Aprils, no less than 97 species have turned up during this month of migratory movement, ( the 8 year patch total is only 127! ) so i'm looking forward to to April with great expectation.
Today started well enough, with the first BLACKCAP (77) of the year being found, in the small wooded area at the north end of Migrant alley, that made the last morning at work, before the 4 day break, a bit more bearable :-)
This afternoon I decided to make a very quick scan of all the habitats on my patch, hoping to pick up all the regular species, this worked better than expected, as a total of 43 species were found, the LESSER BLACKED GULLS seen at Migrant Alley were a bonus, as were the flyover CORMORANT and GREY HERON, these species can take a bit of finding at this time of year.
Amongst the more easier species to be found in the Wet Woods and Lake area, were some of the scarcer birds, COAL TIT, TREECREEPER, GOLDCREST and NUTHATCH were all found, CHIFFCHAFF were singing, but they were the only summer migrant found, while on the main lake 16 CANADA GEESE were seen, with 2 more on each of the two smaller lakes, MALLARDS and MOORHENS put in their appearance too.
Of the Raptors, KESTREL and SPARROWHAWK were recorded, the former was in it's usual haunt around the Greenhouse Complex, whilst the latter was displaying over the Wet Woods.
Once home I watched the garden feeders in anticipation of seeing the BRAMBLING that has become a regular during previous months, it would be a good April tick if it came in. I needn't of worried though, it turned up at its usual time - tea time!
So I kick off the month with 45 species under my belt, will I beat the record April total set last year? The mammoth task of 72 species is the target. The average number of species seen in April is just 67.5 so its a toughie!
The year list is still 4 species behind last years memorable record breaking year, in which my target of 100 species for the year was met in May! I think it will be a more difficult task this year :-)
Yet more Treecreeper photo's !