I was out at 06:30 this morning in temperatures that warranted just a tee shirt, amazing for late April, as I write this though, a thundery shower is dropping large hailstones, the first precipitation for weeks!
Most of this mornings patch walk was spent confirming just how many summer arrivals were residing on my patch, I counted a Min of 6 pairs of CHIFFCHAFF, 8 pairs of BLACKCAP, 5 pairs of SWALLOWS, 5 COMMON WHITETHROATS, one possibly paired up, 3 singing LESSER WHITETHROATS, two having arrived overnight, one in the College Grounds and one in the wooded headland at Migrant Alley. A single CUCKOO called for most of the morning, and two TURTLE DOVES sang, also from the wooded headland.
A couple of passage summer birds were also found today, which is always a pleasing aspect of my walks, a WHEATEAR was in the Tree Nursery, the second record from here this month out of the eight sightings, and a YELLOW WAGTAIL that flew over the College Grounds, calling loudly.
Other noteworthy flyovers were had from four GREYLAG GEESE, two GREY HERONS, 4 LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS, and 3 HERRING GULLS, whilst raptors were represented by the run of the mill SPARROWHAWK and KESTREL.
On the lakes today, 6 CANADA GEESE were seen, two on nests, also 2 male MALLARD, plus two MOORHEN as well as the male MANDARIN DUCK, back for the third day running, no sign of any Coots today though :-(
In all 49 species were seen, but nothing new for the month, the total of which remains two behind the best April tally of 76, surely I can equal that with a Swift and Garden Warbler in the next week ?
Above: One of the Greylag Geese. Below a GOLDCREST