Early cloud and mist partially cleared by 09:00hrs, leaving a brighter day with some sunny intervals.
A five hour full patch walk this morning yielded a good total of 50 bird species, 51 with the female BLACKCAP (77,56) that was seen in my garden as I set off, my first of the spring, though I suspect it was an overwintering individual. The 15 year median average first sighting for Blackcap is the 30th March, but that figure includes the ones that sometimes overwinter here :-)
No other migrant species were new in, but there were 4 SWALLOWS seen over the Greenhouse Grounds and CHIFFCHAFFS were heard in the Greenhouse Copse, Small Holding, and Scrubby Woods as well as the remnants of the Wooded Headland to the north of Migrant Alley, where a few gull species were recorded, those being BLACK HEADED, HERRING and LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL.
A 90 minute sky watch from my seat over looking Migrant Alley brought me the highlights of the day, with five raptor species being seen, the best being my second RED KITE (57) of the year here, but the PEREGRINES (58) that flew high overhead came a close second. BUZZARDS were everywhere again, hard to count how many, but the local pair were seen, as were the local KESTRELS and SPARROWHAWKS. Flyovers from SISKIN, MEADOW PIPIT, YELLOWHAMMER, SKYLARK and PIED WAGTAIL also featured on an excellent sky watch.
Three butterfly species were also seen as I sat at my seat, my first Small White and Peacock of the year, plus a Small Tortoiseshell, but none stayed around for a photo to be had of them :-(