Early on in the walk I saw the male KESTREL at the Greenhouse Grounds, the female not being seen for a over a week now suggests she is incubating eggs in the nest box there. A circuit of Migrant Alley was bit more livelier than of late, for as well as the usual ROOKS, CARRION CROWS, JACKDAWS and WOODPIGEONS, half a dozen SWALLOWS were feeding low over sheep pasture, and a nice flock of LINNETS was also seen flitting about one of the paddocks, which is festooned with dandelions, the seed heads of which makes a good meal for the Linnets. At the Wooded Headland there, a pair of CHIFFCHAFFS and a pair of BLACKCAPS were seen, plus the LESSER WHITETHROAT sang again. Just as I came to the end of the circuit of Migrant Alley, a soggy looking male WHEATEAR (70) popped up onto a fence rail, giving close views, a nice species to bring up the 70th for April, I didn't have the camera with me, even if I had of done, the light was too poor for photographs.
In the Wet Woods a male MANDARIN DUCK was seen, but there is no sign yet of any young ones. A NUTHATCH fed his mate through the mud sealed entrance of it's nest, and a couple of GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERS were about it for here. I checked the MISTLETHRUSH nest as I left the wet Woods, and all is still ok there :-)
Over on the lakes, a CANADA GOOSE had brought 3 Goslings to the Small lake, the 5th species to have successfully bred on my patch so far this year. The MUTE SWAN and GREYLAG GOOSE were sitting on their respective nests, I can only presume the COOT is on hers, with just one adult being seen, and the nest site concealed in the reeds. Whilst walking the Scrubby Woods, I heard a TAWNY OWL (71) hoot twice from its hidden roost, another one for the April list, which is now up to joint 5th position out of the 13 years, joint with 2006 and 2008. The real target species were the Turtle Dove and Garden Warbler, which were not found this morning, they have dwindled down to just one pair of each now, but i'm hoping that they will return for another summer.
Not a morning for the camera, but this afternoon whilst drinking a cuppa in my garden, I snapped this Nuthatch which is still coming to my feeders, in past years they have ceased to use them by mid April.