A fantastic surprise awaited me this morning as I walked to work, Migrant Alley came up with another passage bird - a BLACK REDSTART (57) Wow! This is the second one this spring, quite something, considering only two others have been recorded in the previous 8 years of recording!
Back to this afternoon, and I only had limited time, as I had to be back for 16:30, so I took a walk around the Tree Nursery, and pub field, before another check of Migrant alley. It was another cloudy cool day, but the cold wind had dropped out quite a bit. Crossing the Tree Nursery, a patch of blue sky appeared, and for 2 or 3 minutes the sun shone and the temperature shot up ( to all of around 17c :-) ) This caused a sudden increase in insect activity, which I assume was the reason for a flock of 20 or so SWIFTS to come through, hawking all the flies.
A WHITETHROAT was singing from the boundary hedgerow, where it seems to have established a territory, and a couple of pairs of LINNETS were seen perched atop the sapling trees, probably nesting in the vacinity. The Pub Field has been seeded with maize, but not a thing was on the bare earth, maybe in the Autumn when the crop is up, this field may produce something.
Entering the sheep pasture and Paddocks at Migrant Alley, I scanned all the fences and fence posts for the Black Redstart, but as suspected it had long gone, I was also on the lookout for a possible Whinchat, a scarce spring Migrant on my patch, but a possibility none the less, just not today :-). I was left to watch the corvids, WOODPIGEONS, and PIED WAGTAILS feeding on the paddocks, and the SWALLOWS zipping in between them. Up above more SWIFTS went through, and a couple of HOUSE MARTINS were wheeling around, ive not seen much of them in recent visits.
Half an hour was had skywatching from my favoured seat, which proved quite productive, a SKYLARK was singing, two YELLOWHAMMER went over, as did a LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL, and 4 raptor species went over - SPARROWHAWK, KESTREL, COMMON BUZZARD and one of the local PEREGRINES (58) which is an addition to the months list. Not a bad day today!
I didn't have much time for chasing photographs, but this Green Viened White butterfly is the first record of this species this year