What a dreary, wet, and cold late spring day, more like a March day than May! Even so, I had some nice birds on my patch today. A WHEATEAR was present at Migrant Alley first thing this morning as I walked to work, and the first COAL TIT (52) for the month was seen entering its nest carrying food as I passed through the College Grounds, it'll be a challenge to find the young when / if they fledge later in the month. On the way home a GREY HERON (53) was added to the months list when one flew over the College Grounds.
A persistent wetting drizzle made for miserable conditions for the afternoons visit, which only lasted a little over ninety minutes, it was good though to hear the LESSER WHITETHROAT singing from the Ashes lane territory as I passed by on my way for a circuit of Migrant Alley, via the Greenhouse Complex, where both BLACKCAP and WHITETHROAT were singing. I heard then saw my first CUCKOO (54) of the month as it flew over the Tree Nursery, it continued to call throughout the visit.
I couldn't find the Wheatear at Migrant Alley seen earlier this morning, but the LINNETS and PIED WAGTAILS were busy feeding on the paddock area. As yesterday, I once again stopped at the wooded headland to the north of the fields and paddocks to see if any Turtle Doves were about, but none have arrived yet :-( I watched a pair of CHIFFCHAFFS nest building, and stepped up onto a stile to get a better view of another Lesser Whitethroat, it was then I caught sight from my peripheral vision of a flock of birds slightly behind me, I turned round and glimpsed a wader flock, most exciting here! They were low due to the low cloud and drizzle, and dipped behind the tree line, so I jumped down off the stile and ran ( well sort of!) out to the open field, where I had excellent views of no less than 13 WHIMBREL (92,55) a fantastic migrant wader for my year list! To record 13 going over is unpresidented, in the past they have occurred in singles and once two flew over. Whimbrel are less than annually recorded here with the last record on May 10th 2010, the only other spring records were on April 21st 2008 and 1st May 2006.
A very short skywatch after that bit of excitement didn't produce anymore passage birds, but the KESTREL was seen up hunting as was a SPARROWHAWK. A short visit but a worth while one, which was made more worth while when I got home, just as I was putting my key in the door I heard the BARNACLE GOOSE (56), it flew directly over my house with its CANADA GOOSE mate. As I have Barnacle Goose on my patch list, I may as well put it on my seen from / in the garden list :-) I haven't added anything to that particular list for over a year, so the Barnacle Goose takes it to 93 :-)
No photo's today, my Blog photo folder is empty and the weather kept the camera indoors today :-(