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April 25th

Expecting a warm and sunny day I was surprised to see completely cloudy skies when I awoke this morning. I kicked myself for not getting up earlier, but following two weeks of 4am get ups, I was glad of the lie in! Following a few spots of light rain the sun broke through and it brightened for a while, although remaining somewhat hazy. With Ossie leading the way, we headed along the lane and it soon became apparent that there had been a small arrival of migrants, for the hedgerows and cover around the paddocks held more warblers than recently. The recent Willow Warbler was still singing and along the route I heard another and saw one more. Four Blackcaps were seen too and at least six Common Whitethroats, but the star was a Garden Warbler in a Willow near Briar Cottage. I was especially pleased to see this as I'd missed them in Spring last year, although this bird remained silent and soon flew into the more extensive cover behind Laurel Lodge. Another bonus came in the form of a female Redstart which proved rather elusive as it fed along a fenced hedgerow bordering the main paddock. I often find them tricky to catch up with in the Spring but this was the second in this area this year. A pair of Mistle Thrushes were away from their nest and feeding on the smaller paddock, loosely accompanied by a single Redwing which had no doubt stopped off on it's way north.

It seems that shortly after this I missed out on a Red Kite which had been seen over Mill Farm. Distracted by a phone call, I didn't stop to scan towards the coast where I normally do, and had this been the case then I would probably have seen it. Still, Red Kites are doing really well throughout much of the UK now and surely one will cross my path before the year end.

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