Well the final spring migrant that uses my patch to breed arrived today, the SPOTTED FLYCATCHER ( 92, 64). It was found where last years only pair bred, in the College Grounds, calling like mad, as they always do on first arriving. The year list is now 8 short of my taget of 100, and with no more expected migrants to arrive, 8 species will take some finding, i'll probably have to wait until the Autumn to pick up anything - maybe a Sedge or Reed Warbler if i'm lucky.
This was the highlight of a 4 hour walk this morning, undertaken for once, in calm, sunny conditions. The sunny weather tempted song from most of the other spring migrants - WHITETHROAT, BLACKCAP, CHIFFCHAFF, CUCKOO, and TURTLE DOVE, but Garden Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat went unrecorded, as did another spring migrant the Swift, I thought this would have been a certainity on todays list after all the recent sightings. SWALLOW, HOBBY and HOUSE MARTIN made up the rest of the regular spring arrivals, the latter visiting last years nest on one of the college campus buildings, the only pair left on my patch.
A surprise passage migrant was seen at Migrant Alley, in the shape of yet another WHEATEAR, and a flyover GREY HERON (65) added another species to the May list, which now is equal to the May average, but still 7 species behind last Mays tally.
An Excellent total of 50 species was recorded this morning, which included NUTHATCH and COAL TIT, these havn't been unseen on recent visits, a SPARROWHAWK was the second raptor species seen today, hunting over the Tree Nursery, and a SKYLARK was singing over the sheep pasture at Migrant Alley, maybe this species is breeding here, they will have to fledge their young before the field is cut though - could be a close call :-(
Above and Below is a Common Whitethroat, singing from the tall hedge behind my skywatching seat at Migrant alley