Back to work today, so it's back to the afternoon visits on my patch. These can never be as good as the morning visits, and today would have had to come up with something special to match yesterday!
The sun had, predictably, vanished behind some drifting cloud for the entire visit this afternoon, but it's back out now i'm writing this! It wasn't cold without the sun though, and a walk through the wet woods over to the lakeside scrub was undertaken. I noticed that the Bluebells in the wet woods are about 25% out now, so it wont be long before the woodland floor is a blue carpet. Birdwise it was vey quiet, all the resident species are busy nest building now, with some females already incubating, but the GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERS and GREAT TITS continue their calling from the ever greening trees.
A NUTHACTH was seen in the lakeside scrub, hanging round a potential nest hole, and all around the sound of CHIFFCHAFFS and BLACKCAPS were heard, I located a Common Whitethroat high up in an oak, a new arrival feeding up after its long flight. The CUCKOO gave a few brief calls, but went unseen, apart from that it was no change from recent days. I was actually hoping to hear the song of a Nightingale, a pair used to breed here up until 2007, but I havn't had any since then, I always hope for their return.
I made my way over to Migrant Alley, and checked the fence lines and paddocks for any Wheatear or maybe a Whinchat - that would be something, I dont get many of these in the spring, but neither were about today, 4 SWALLOWS whizzed around the sheep pasture, a SKYLARK sang, two GREEN WOODPECKERS were on a fence rail, and a YELLOWHAMMER flew over, a few large gulls were seen very high up, making me check them out, just in case one was an Osprey :-), and a Dove that flew over fast and high looked to be a my first Turtle Dove of the year, but I didn't get enough on it to be 100% sure, it didn't help me by comming out of the sun which half blinded me!
I also spent some time looking for Butterflies, and found mostly Peacocks, but also had a male ORANGE TIP, and as yesterday, a possible Small Copper, which again flew off to fast and high to ID.
Same again tomorrow, lets hope the Turtle Dove turns up.