Monday, 17 April 2017

Monday April 17

A largely cloudy morning with a couple of very light showers and a light north-easterly breeze. Spring here is still proceeding with the handbrake on.

I took the opportunity to walk the road transect counting singing birds, pausing briefly to photograph a singing male Blackcap.

The singing birds were generally all the expected species, with Willow Warbler probably the scarcest here.

I then headed down to the flash field hoping that the overnight showers might have dropped something in. Before I got into position however I was taken aback to hear a singing male Redstart. This species is more or less expected as a passage migrant in very small numbers, but they are very reluctant to sing until they reach breeding habitat, and this was the first one I had ever heard singing here.

It stopped singing after a couple of phrases, and called a couple of times enabling me to actually see it. It took another 20 minutes of hide and seek before I finally got an acceptable shot of it.

They are absolutely stunning birds. I was so pleased to see it that I didn't really mind that the flash field and pool contained a rather disappointingly similar array of species to my last visit, namely 13 Teal, a Gadwall, two Redshank, four Green Sandpipers, two Little Ringed Plovers, two Tufted Ducks, and eight Lapwings.

The ploughed field contained no Wheatears but is proving irresistible to the local buntings, with at least 12 Yellowhammers and two Reed Buntings present today. A pair of Linnets showed well in the hedge bordering the field.

A male Linnet
The Lesser Whitehroat was still singing, but there was no sign of any Common Whitethroats. My only other year tick being a bang on time return of a House Martin to the Netherstead barn conversion complex.

No comments:

Post a Comment