The birding today was almost identical to yesterday, with 49 species being tallied up in split visit lasting 7 hours in all. The only difference in the species encountered today were the omission of flyovers from Grey Heron, Yellowhammer and House Martin, but on the plus side I today saw the SPARROWHAWK hunting over the Scrubby Woods, a MANDARIN DUCK on the main lake and the bird of the day a CUCKOO (86,73) which flew high over Migrant Alley calling as it went. It seemed to settle on the high ground to the north of my patch, where it called for 20 mins, being just about audible over the noisy chainsaws between me and it!
This will be one of the few Cuckoo records I get for my patch now they no longer breed here, the arrival date for this species has been creeping ever later as they become more scarce, the 14 year median average arrival date for cuckoo on my patch is the 14 April, but for the first 5 years it was the 12th, however for the last 5 years it has crept to the 16th.
The skies were very quiet, BUZZARDS were frequently seen, some near, some far, some high some low, so its hard to say how many! I didn't stay at my sky watching seat for too long anyway, as the thick smoke from the burning trees that the chainsaw gang were cutting down was overpowering, even though they were a kilometer away! Why are they cutting down trees at this time of year anyway ? I've given up worrying about it all!
Just a couple of images for today, grabbed early this morning when a trio of LONG TAILED TITS came past me as scanned the Greenhouse Copse............
Long Tailed Tit