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April 30th

The passage of the cold front had definitely put a cooler edge to the air this morning but the sun is beginning to feel really quite warm in any shelter away from the breeze. At the paddocks it was as if all the Warblers there had sought such shelter, for a single Sycamore along the lee side held no less than four Garden Warblers (one a singing male), a pair of Blackcaps and single Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat and Willow Warbler. Two colourful Goldfinches joined in too, the insect life attracted to the sticky, bursting buds a valuable source of protein to supplement their usual diet of seeds. There has been a pair of these in the garden recently, taking advantage of a feeder filled with Niger seed, a Goldfinch favourite. I was surprised one evening after dark when, as I watered our tubs and baskets, the Goldfinches flew out of the tree from right beside the feeder where I presume they must have gone to roost. The grass in the meadows east of the paddocks has had a nitrogen boost, and with the effects of sunlight and recent showers is really marching on. So much so that a Fieldfare which was feeding there was practically hidden apart from it's head.

This evening I managed to nip out and check a couple of large sugar beet fields around the village, mainly because late April to mid May is pretty much the peak time for Dotterel to pass through the county. I've seen several in the parish over the years but drew a blank tonight and had to make do with a party of ten Wheatears instead.

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