I was out on patch for a little over two hours today, where it was hard going, however the visit was not a write off. My early walk around the paddocks and sheep pasture had only produced a few flyover HERRING GULLS and couple of LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS, plus a nice little group of 15 LINNETS feeding on Dandelion heads, but as I walked along the Wooded Headland to the north of the fields I heard my first LESSER WHITETHROAT (89,77) of the year, initially it quietly gave a jumbled warble, but eventually it broke into its rattle like song, hopefully it will stay around and find somewhere to breed here. Although much of the headland has been cleared of its dense undergrowth now, there was song from CHIFFCHAFF and BLACKCAP, leading to the assumption they they will try to breed here, the LONG TAILED TITS have most certainly done so, three birds were actively feeding youngsters in a nest.
The 14 year median average arrival date for Lesser Whitethroat on my patch is the 26th April, so a little later than that this year, I only had to wait until the 16th April last year though :-)
The woods and lakes provided little in the way of excitement, a BUZZARD was again seen in the Wet Woods and the TREECREEPER sang from there again. The lakes had just a few drake MALLARDS loafing around and 4 CANADA GEESE doing like wise, the pair of GREYLAG GEESE were 'gosling less' but i'm sure there are more than enough pairs to make up for the predation of this brood - that's nature!
The months list is poised tantalisingly at 77, just two species behind the record April tally of 79, with the weather looking a bit better tomorrow, I might just get my first Swift or Hobby fly over, maybe even a passing Turtle Dove, fingers crossed :-)
No pics were taken in the poor light today, but I have few from previous days, yet another predator!
This SPARROWHAWK was back hunting the finches in my garden, poor lighting, but ok images
It was a male CHAFFINCH that was the unfortunate victim