A good 4 hours was spent out enjoying the early morning though, and a good total of 50 species was encountered. A couple of these were lingering winter species, like the FIELDFARE, one of which was seen in the wooded headland at Migrant Alley, the other a passage of MEADOW PIPITS heading NW, but the day belonged to the arriving summer birds, two SWALLOWS were seen around the private stables opposite my house, these are local birds having made it home safely, also my first HOUSE MARTIN (82, 64) of the year was seen over the Greenhouse Grounds, having arrived 3 days earlier than the median date. 3 BLACKCAPS fed together in a pussy willow tree at the College Grounds, most certainly hungry migrants, at least 5 CHIFFCHAFFS are now on territory, one at the College grounds, one in the wooded headland, two in the Scrubby Woods and the last around the lakes, where today 14 CANADA GEESE, 4 GREYLAG GEESE, the feral BARNACLE GOOSE, 4 MALLARD 4 MOORHEN and the COOT family were all seen. Unfortunately the Canada Geese have left their nest on the main lake island, the eggs can be seen scattered from the nest, quite abandoned, a Greylag is still sitting on its nest on one of the islands of the smaller lake though.
Other highlights of my walk were seeing two JAYS screeching at something in a tall fir tree in a large garden adjacent to the Wet Woods, this turned out to be a TAWNY OWL (65) which flew out for deeper cover into the Wet Woods, a good April species to get on the months list :-) Also watching 3 BUZZARDS circle low over the (ex)Tree Nursery was an awesome experience, great birds to watch :-) Just one KESTREL was seen, but no Sparrowhawk today.
BLACKBIRDS were noted carrying food for nestlings, SKYLARKS sang as they passed over, 2 male LINNETS sang from the Greenhouse Grounds and a BLUE TIT was observed carrying nest material into one of my nest boxes there, all very positive at last :-)
|One of the 3 Buzzards seen soaring together|