As soon as I left the house song was heard from BLACKBIRD, WREN, COLLARED DOVE, WHITETHROAT, ROBIN, DUNNOCK, SONGTHRUSH, GREENFINCH and CHAFFINCH, with the calls from BLUE TIT, GREAT TIT, JACKDAW, MAGPIE, WOODPIGEON, PHEASANT and STARLING, all that lot before getting twenty yards down the lane - that's much more like May :-)
More Whitethroats and a LESSER WHITETHROAT sang from the Tree Nursery, where a SKYLARK dropped in to feed, the KESTREL was up hunting overhead, and both GREYLAG and CANADA GOOSE flew over over calling noisily. I listened to yet another Whitethroat in the Greenhouse grounds, along with a BLACKCAP, and the first few PIED WAGTAILS flew out of the opening windows of the largest Greenhouse, where I was pleased to see a LITTLE OWL perched on one of the gutters. Migrant Alley chipped in this bird filled day with a passage WHEATEAR, as well as flyovers from SWIFT, HERRING GULL, LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL, GREY HERON and SPARROWHAWK.
All the regulars were seen at the College Grounds, including COAL TIT, LONG TAILED TIT, GOLDCREST, MISTLE THRUSH, LINNET and GREEN WOODPECKER, with the SWALLOWS perched on telephone lines at the Stables there.
A COMMON BUZZARD got up from one of the large gardens adjacent to the Wet woods as I made my way over to the Scrubby Woods and Lakes, and as I watched it soaring ever higher, I spotted half a dozen HOUSE MARTINS (59) the first this month. Not much was on the Lakes today, just the COOTS with their two young, and a couple of MALLARDS, but the scrubby Woods was alive with song, mostly from Blackcaps, CHIFFCHAFFS, Songthrushes, Wrens, Robins and Chaffinch, but also heard was the GARDEN WARBLER, TREECREEPER, and BULLFINCH. I listened intently for a Turtle Dove, but none have arrived yet it seems, indeed, will they arrive at all this year, they are 6 days later than the latest arrival date on my patch, maybe this area will be just another place that looses this lovely migrant dove :-(
In all today a magnificent 52 species were recorded during the four hour walk, missing from that list was the Jay, where have they gone ? The nest I found of this species was not occupied today. The Cuckoo didn't call either, most unusual for a May day, plus no sightings of Yellowhammer or Nuthatch, these two species have not been recorded at all this month yet.
In the better light today I was able to get a few photo's ...........
|Male Wheatear, superb birds :-)|
|Swallow - I managed to chop off his tail streamers!|
|The longer the streamers on the Swallows tail the more likely he is to attract a mate|
|Little Owl at the Greenhouse Complex|