Still no change in the weather, the morning starts grey, cold and windy, but as the day goes on the cloud breaks, and some sunny spells are had, but the wind is still cold!
Just about all the common resident species showed on todays patch walk, with the 3 migrant species that have arrived, CHIFFCHAFF, BLACKCAP and SWALLOW also very evident now, but I await any more new arrivals. The Cuckoo is now 2 days past its mean arrival date, the latest arrival date for this species on my patch is 18th Apr. back in 2002.
I had one bit of success, whilst over at the lakeside scrub listening and failing to hear the call of the Cuckoo, or song of a Common or Lesser Whitethroat, a TAWNY OWL (64) hooted! Not quite what I had in mind, but nice to add it to the months list anyway.
In the 4 hours I was out I recorded 46 species, and as I mentioned all of the resident species turned out including the less commonly seen species such as COAL TIT, TREECREEPER, NUTHATCH, GOLDCREST and YELLOWHAMMER. Flyovers by GREYLAG GOOSE, SPARROWHAWK, BLACKHEADED, and HERRING GULL all helped the list along, and the LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS at Migrant Alley are still patroling the paddocks!
I went out around 14:30 to do some skywatching over on my usual seat at Migrant Alley, I managed to see 2 more Sparrowhawks, 2 KESTRELS, and both the PEREGRINES that were up together, a COMMON BUZZARD that came over lazily was soon hurried along by the male Peregrine, - fun to watch. I didn't manage to find any House Martins though, but they have only been recorded on or before todays date in 3 out of the last 8 years, with the mean arrival date being the 19th Apr. So I reckon on a few days before seeing them.
I fell just one species short of 50 at the end of the day, maybe I should have counted the Grey Heron that flew just to the south of my patch! 50 is a very good day total for my patch!
Below is another attempt at photographing the Peregrine.