Apologies for the paucity of input on Birding Aldcliffe lately. It isn't a reflection of a lack of visits to the patch, more a sign that there's not been a great deal to write about.
There has been little in the way of obvious movement in the last couple of weeks; most expected migrants are well-established and the resident wildlife is just getting on with stuff. All very pleasant to note, but not terribly inspiring when it comes to scribing a blog post...
What I can report is that some species appear to be having a reasonable breeding season. Today a flock of some 500 starlings were searching for grubs etc in the recently cut fields to the south of the Lane. Why silage needs to be cut in May is beyond me, and hardly helps what few nesting birds and leverets that may be found in these dull, flowerless fields but that's another story... anyway, among the mass of garrulous starlings were many youngsters. Good news for a species in steady decline.
Neither mute swan nest appears to have produced cygnets yet, and I have yet to see any young grey partridge, moorhens, little grebes, lapwings or oystercatchers. Not very encouraging.
On a more positive note, a number of lapwing and oystercatcher have at least re-settled in the barren, ploughed maize fields to have another go at hatching some chicks. There's still plenty of time for success as long as the weather is kind...
So, in the absence of any particularly photogenic birds, here's a photo of some delightful sea pink (AKA thrift) on the estuary.