Monday, 30 April 2012

Whin-Whin Situation

Dan here. Hello.

April finally came to Aldcliffe today, with warm weather and a surge in migrant numbers. Plenty of smart common summer/passage stuff and, (I felt) a chance of a scarcity. I couldn't help but have fun.

Migrant highlights-- year ticks for the patch are in bold:

2 whinchats, 22 wheatears, a grasshopper warbler, a garden warbler, a sedge warbler, a common sandpiper, five whimbrels, around 20 swifts, fifteen house martins on the move, and a good easterly passage of swallows (c80 per hour).

Eight lesser whitethroats and 4 commons wasn't terribly impressive for the end of April but a good influx of willow warblers was, with around 70 birds noted. I also felt that blackcap numbers were raised somewhat, with 16 singers noted.

5+2+1 siskins headed over, NE, mid-afternoon.

In the outstanding bravery category of this blog, I helped an adult male mute swan that had somehow lodged itself in brambles between parallel barbed wired fences about a metre apart.

I climbed in behind it, seized it by the neck just below the hissing head and tried to lift its body with the other arm.

After some wrestling I returned it to safety. What a guy.

Some butterflies were out and about, with around fifteen orange tips, twenty small tortoiseshells and the first few speckled woods noted.


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