The sunny periods lasted just long enough for my afternoon patch visit, but didn't tempt either of the ''missing'' migrants onto my patch, the Lesser Whitethroat and Turtle Dove. The Lesser Whitethroat has always had its first arrival date somewhere in April for the last 10 years, the earliest being the 14th and the latest the 27th, while the Turtle Dove has only once had its first arrival date outside of April, that was on May 1st 2004.
Whilst looking for the missing migrants in the Scrubby Woods the most prolific song was from the BLACKCAPS, they were joined by fewer CHIFFCHAFFS, SONGTHRUSH, ROBIN, DUNNOCK and CHAFFINCH, I could also just hear GOLDCREST and TREECREEPER singing somewhere in the scrubby tangles. On the lakes the COOTS were re-located and they still have two of the original 4 youngsters with them, a CANADA GOOSE was still sitting tightly, seem ages now, perhaps the eggs are infertile ? There were plenty of Speckled Wood and Orange Tip Butterflies about, as well as Large and Small whites, also my first Damselfly was recorded, a Large Red.
I left for Migrant Alley, via the Tree Nursery, where two GREEN WOODPECKERS and a COMMON WHITETHROAT were seen of note. At Migrant Alley there was a nice flock of 20 or so LINNETS, but no sign of yesterdays Black Redstart :-( My sky watch produced 3 raptor species, BUZZARD, KESTREL and SPARROWHAWK, but not a single Gull. At least six SWALLOWS seen feeding over the sheep pasture were all local birds, a GREY HERON wrapped up the more noteworthy species for the day.
The stats for this month are a little disappointing, the total number of species recorded was 69, which puts it in 7th place out of the 11 years. However, April did have some highlights, the Raven seen on the 14th and 22nd was a patch tick, taking the combined April list for all 11 years to 103. The Red Kite seen on the 11th was also memorable, as of course was yesterdays Black Redstart :-)
Despite the sunny conditions it was one of those visits where nothing went right for the camera :-( but I did get a couple of garden bird pics later in the day, one being of the first BLACKBIRD fledgling of the year, although it looks to have been fledged for quite some time. This is the fourth species to have successfully bred on my patch so far this year :-)
|First young Blackbird of the year|
|Starling at the fat, taking some back for the youngsters, which should be out in 10 days or so :-)|