It was very much the same on my patch this morning, just 41 species were recorded in a 4 hour visit, and again it was disappointing not to hear much bird song, not surprising really given the cold wind and the grey conditions.
Late on in the morning CHIFFCHAFFS and BLACKCAPS found their voices as the sun came and went, but the cold wind got stronger if anything, especially out on the open fields of Migrant Alley. It was here that that the more noteworthy species were seen: A couple of YELLOWHAMMERS, a flyover MEADOW PIPIT, 4 local SWALLOWS, and the long staying pair of LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS that chase every other gull away!
By 11:00 I had decided to go home and have a break, and wait for the cloud to break up a bit more, which it did, and by 12:30 I was back over at Migrant Alley on my skywatching seat. I was almost immediatley treated to the sight two KESTRELS hunting over the Greenhouse Complex, and a little later a PEREGRINE flew over low and fast, two other Raptors showed up during my 2 hour vigil, a COMMON BUZZARD and at least 3 different SPARROWHAWKS. The only other addition to the day list was a pair of STOCK DOVES.
I decided to go and check out the recently ploughed pub field, but it remains disappointing, a dozen or so PIED WAGTAILS, 35 ROOKS, 28 JACKDAWS, 13 WOODPIGEON and 4 more Stock Doves were all that was on offer, a huge field of turned soil and not a wheatear in sight!
Before I headed off home for a cuppa, I decided to check out the paddocks at Migrant alley, for the 3rd time today! However persistance pays, and I discovered a spanking male WHEATEAR sitting on the fence line, they really do prefer these fenced paddocks, the ploughed pub field is only seperated from Migrant Alley by Ashes lane, but the turned soil doesn't attract them....so far.
In the end the daylist finished on a much more satisfactory 47, but still no new spring migrants :-(
Above and Below the Wheatear, at Migrant Alley