With the weather turning colder again it seems that this slow spring was again going to grind to a halt. I started at Netherstead Farm for the first time in over a week, and soon found that the cold northerly breeze was inhibiting bird song. Nevertheless I heard and saw my first Common Whitethroat of the year. One bird I was on the look out for was Tree Sparrow. They get noticeably shy during the breeding season, but I soon got excellent views of one. The reason I wanted to see one was to have an excuse to post a truly excellent photograph of the species at Morton Bagot, obviously not taken by me.
Tree Sparrow by Mike Lane
Many thanks to Mike for sending me this shot for the blog. I continued to the pool and flashes. This weekend several localities, Belvide Reservoir, Upton Warren, and Marsh Lane GP in particular, are holding their annual spring all day bird counts. There is no chance of competing with these premiership localities, but had I been going for a day list my next two species would have been valuable additions to the list. A Meadow Pipit flew out of the marsh, and four Teal were present at the flash. The former has usually gone before the end of April, although the habitat might just be wild enough to tempt a pair to stay and breed one year. I had not seen the latter since April 24, and these four were therefore quite a surprise. Finally, a single Wheatear, a fly over Yellow Wagtail, and a singing Lesser Whitethroat sent me home feeling the visit had not been a total waste of time.