It was dull and overcast this morning, with a cold NE wind blowing.
The was a more positive side to my 3 hour patch visit today, my early walk around Migrant Alley produced a flyover RAVEN (84, 68), only the third record on my patch for this species, the other two records being back in April 2012. I added another species to the year list when 5 SAND MARTINS (85,69) were seen, also flying over Migrant Alley, joining at times with half a dozen SWALLOWS, a good spring species to get on my patch, I don't see them every spring. Migrant Alley also came up with an unusual passing bird, a KINGFISHER (70) which sped through, bullet like, bringing up the 70th species for the month. Other flyovers recorded were GREYLAG GOOSE, LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL, HERRING GULL, and a spectacular PEREGRINE! BUZZARD and KESTREL were also up hunting, plus a SKYLARK sang over the sheep pasture.
A look through the wooded areas of my patch proved uneventful, no sign of any spring migrants to join the BLACKCAPS and CHIFFCHAFFS that are already here. The lakes came up with a male MANDARIN DUCK, though, a bit different from the usual suspects, makes me wonder if there is a female around on a nest, a pair has bred here in the last few years.
Back home my garden proved interesting, with a pair of SISKIN still visiting the feeders plus a SONGTHRUSH prospecting around the shrubs and overgrown grass, more exciting though, was seeing a WHITETHROAT picking off insects from the vegetation in my wildlife area, get the habitat right and birds will visit - if only the huge football pitch sized gardens around me would take note!