At last I've got a decent male Orange Tip Photo! This one was in my garden late this afternoon.
The walk this morning was far from being butterfly weather though. It was cloudy, with a cold northerly wind - very unpleasant. It was hard going finding any birds for the first hour, which was spent around Migrant alley, the College Grounds and the tree Nursery. Migrant species were few, up to 8 SWALLOWS braved the conditions, feeding over the paddocks, and 3 TURTLE DOVES were noted at the scrub at the north end of Migrant Alley. A WHITETHROAT sang from the hedgerow between the Tree Nursery and Ashes lane. Only one CHIFFCHAFF was heard at the College Grounds along with a single BLACKCAP. Of the resident species, SONGTHRUSH and BLACKBIRD were heard to sing, a MISTLE THRUSH collected food for its nestlings, and two GOLDCRESTS chased around a pine tree in the College Grounds.
It got a little brighter on the second part of my walk over to the Lakeside scrub, and the first sighting of a BUZZARD (54), flying low over as I left the house, with its attendent CARRION CROW tormenting it, was the first seen this month, and further along Ashes Lane a YELLOWHAMMER was singing. In the Small Holding, JAY, BULLFINCH, GREEN and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERS as well as a SPARROWHAWK were added to the list, which was looking a little healthier now.
There was a bit more song heard at the Lakeside scrub, but not as much as should be heard for early May, the CUCKOO called, and it was good to hear the GARDEN WARBLER singing, more Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs also sang, and at last I added a GREAT TIT to the day list! A small group of LONG TAILED TITS were observed collecting food, and as I watched, the first TREECREEPER (55) of the month appeared, this took my attention, and I saw it fly over to a tree trunk and feed its mate.
Despite the cold conditions, I tallied up a daylist of 46, a little below par for a May day, but a short afternoon walk over to Migrant Alley saw me add SKYLARK to the list, and more interestingly SWIFT, of which 20 odd dropped down low from out of a big shower cloud that had just gone through, all migrants heading North.
This Robin above, was already on my skywatching seat over at Migrant Alley this afternoon, looks like it's doing some skywatching of its own.