Ne'er cast a clout 'till May is out
Well the May is out, but the weather is still stuck in April! This morning being cool for the time of year, with just a few sunny spells early on, but these soon disappeared under a veil of cloud.
I covered nearly all of my patch in the four hours I was out, finding a relatively poor total of 44 bird species, one of those at least kept the May list moving along, that was the TUFTED DUCK (63) a pair of which were on the main lake, a very nice surprise, they were swimming around with a male MANDARIN DUCK, the only other birds on the water were 6 CANADA GEESE.
The adjacent Scrubby Woods had GREAT SPOTTED and GREEN WOODPECKERS calling, as well as NUTHATCH, JAY, STOCK DOVE and LONG TAILED TIT, a GOLDCREST sang, as did a MISTLETHRUSH, a SONG THRUSH, a couple of BLACKCAPS and a couple of CHIFFCHAFFS, along with the more common stuff, like WREN, DUNNOCK, ROBIN, BLACKBIRD and CHAFFINCH, but there was no sign of the recently seen Turtle Dove, Nor was there any new fledgling species found, but a couple more Robin families were noted.
The fields and Paddocks of Migrant Alley were poor for birds today, lots of disturbance there again, the Greenhouse Grounds had at least 3 WHITETHROATS and two pairs of LINNETS, but nothing else much, apart from the KESTREL, which I watched carry what looked like a BLUE TIT up to the nest box.
A sky watch from my seat was had for an hour or so, the most noteworthy sightings were of the SWIFTS that passed over at regular intervals, plus a couple of single LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS, and three BUZZARDS up together, one of which was clutching a prey item. A Dozen or so SWALLOWS were busy harvesting the St. Marks Flies that were swarming along the Greenhouse Grounds boundary hedgerow behind my seat.
A return to the Scrubby Woods around Midday to look for Butterflies and Dragonflies produced not a single one of either, but I wasn't surprised in the cool, overcast conditions.