Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Know Your Linnets

Dan here.

A day of changeable skies, with a half-decent list of summer migrants for so early in April, but nothing too exciting found.

A smattering of hirundines were passing through in the afternoon, with 2 Swallows and 12 Sand Martins noted.  Morning vis seemed non-existent in evidently unfavourable weather.

Three male Blackcaps were around the Stodday zone of the shared use path, with a female in the Aspen plantation there. 4-5 Chiffchaffs here.

Chromedome-- the pale headed Long-tailed Tit was back on his sewage works beat after moonlighting up at Dawson's Bank.

Four Willow Warblers were in song along Upper Track, as well as three Chiffchaffs...much Goldfinch activity in the hedgerows and five or six male Greenfinches displaying along the main drag.

Just one Wheatear was noted, at first feeding on a dung heap, then flitting out onto the saltmarsh.

Little Ringed Plovers comprised the male and the (rather drab) probable female as snapped above, and a third bird seen by U3A bird-finder extraordinaire Jeff Butcher. No sign of any Green Sandpipers today.

A nice count of 77 Linnets was made late afternoon, though when a female Sparrowhawk shot through the maize stubble fields many more (perhaps 120 in total) were spooked, along with c100 Meadow Pipits.

A Grey Partridge was singing near Frog Pond.

A non-breeding plumage Great Crested Grebe was near the pylons, where 4 Ravens were interacting.

Butterflies seemed to be in short supply even when the sun came out--  two Peacocks were on the wing.

Yesterday evening a Lesser Whitethroat-- perhaps Jon's bird from the other day-- was singing in what's left of Freeman's Scrub. Such an early arrival for this species (average early date about the 15th of April).


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