My five hour full patch walk yielded a mammoth 53 species, just about every bird species that resides on my patch was found! The undoubted highlight of them all was hearing, then watching, my first CUCKOO (81,63) of 2014, alas it didn't stay, but continued NW across my patch. Its arrival here is just one day earlier than the 12 year median average arrival date.
I checked up on all the nest sites I know about, MISTLETHRUSH, MUTE SWAN, GREYLAG GOOSE, CANADA GOOSE and COOT, finding them all ok, I also saw 2 male MANDARIN DUCKS on the main lake while checking the geese nests. The LITTLE OWLS at the old shack in the Ashes Lane Field, may be nesting, and one was heard to call this morning.
Much bird song was heard in the Scrubby Woods, but the most pleasing song was from the WILLOW WARBLER - one of my favourites :-) Whilst I stood and listened to the singing, I saw my first CORMORANT (64) of the month flyover, the April list is slowly creeping along, but is still in 11th place out of the 13 Aprils so far recorded, another 11 species will need to be found just to equal the average species count of the previous 5 years.
My sky watch today produced a few HERRING GULL, 2 LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS, 4 BUZZARDS up together, a sparrowhawk, and the male KESTREL, the female hasn't been seen for a few days so she may well be in the nest box at the greenhouse Grounds. More SWALLOWS have arrived, at least 6 were feeding over the sheep pasture, and the SKYLARK pair sang for most of the hour I sat at my seat.
Later in the morning I spied my first HOLLY BLUE butterfly of the year, the 10th species so far for 2014, and also added Red Admiral to the April butterfly tally.
Not much action for the camera today, just these from my garden.