Thursday, 24 April 2014

Sounds of Spring

Yesterday while waiting for Laura to have a massage I went for a wander around Spa Common, it was late evening so I wasn't expecting much. By the Mill however I stumbled across the drake Mandarin Duck found last week at Pigny's Wood, not on the patch but still nice to catch up with it. A couple of Song Thrush provided a lovely sound track as the evening became dusk.

I decided today (24th) to head down to Pigny's Wood early, something I've intended but not managed over the last week. Walking along the old railway line, mist hung in the air pierced by the sound of Chiffchaff. Reaching the old bridge at Swafield, I could hear Whitethroat calling, along with Sedge Warbler in the riverside reeds. Among the calls I could hear a Grasshopper Warbler and after 10 minutes or so I managed brief views. Walking along the river a pair of Reed Bunting sang and I found my first Reed Warbler of the year. Before reaching Mike Thurston's a Willow Warbler completed quite a haul of warbers. I had a quick look out from the new hide at Pigny's hoping the Mandarin may have relocated, but only had 2 fly-through Egyptian Geese and a lone Swallow. A female Bullfinch was eating buds nearby and a Great Spotted Woodpecker was near the barn. I wandered up towards the hilltop wood and admired the Bluebells.

 The sound of warblers dominated the morning, by the time I was back in town I had seen no fewer than 8 Chiffchaff, 12 Sedge Warbler, 13 Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap,1 Willow Warbler, 1 Grasshopper Warbler and 1 Reed Warbler. Just two weeks ago I may have heard 1/2 Chiffchaff, what a difference a few days of easterly wind can make.

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