The fine weather goes on! Although it was just a bit chilly as the sun came up, it soon turned warm and sunny.
In a four hour full patch walk from 06:30, 47 species were recorded, about average for an April day, but it was quite hard going early on, maybe due to the cooler morning than of late. Mostly, it was the regular singers that were heard as I walked over to the College Grounds, via the Tree Nursery, Pub Field and Migrant Alley, but joining the WRENS, DUNNOCKS, BLACKBIRDS, SONGTHUSH, LINNETS, GOLDCREST and the many Finch's and Tits, were the two early arriving summer migrants BLACKCAP and CHIFFCHAFF. At least 4 SWALLOWS are now on patch, they will try to breed in the college stables, but no new summer migrant species were recorded.
It was the 36th species in the book that caused a small cheer, when the first BLACK HEADED GULL (64) of the month flew over the college sports pitch. Whilst returning through Migrant Alley, I watched a GREYLAG GOOSE fly over, and then a CORMORANT, but checking the fence lines for a second time I was pleased to find another WHEATEAR.
It warmed up considerably during the walk over to the Lake and Scrubby Wood area, where I was ecstatic to find 3 SHOVELER DUCK (85,65) on the main lake, 2 males and a female, a great species to find on my patch, and just the second record of this species in ten years! The COOTS were also present, with 6 CANADA GEESE and two each of MOORHEN and MALLARD.
I finished off the woodland species that were needed for the day list, BULLFINCH, TREECREEPER, and JAY, then set off for some butterfly action, finding, Holly Blue, Peacock, Comma, Orange Tip and small Tortoiseshell, but still didn't manage that Orange Tip photo, well I did but it had its wings closed!
This afternoon, a quick sky scan for raptors came up with BUZZARD, SPARROWHAWK and KESTRELAbove: Dunnock. Above: Male Shoveler, below Male with Female, most exciting !
Below is the Wheatear, I took this long distant photo, then the bird immediately flew off northwards!