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May 14th

At last the wind has shifted to the south-west, hopefully bringing an end to the chilly northerly-biased winds we seem to have been stuck with for an eternity. I headed with Ossie to the cliffs and we walked from the Decca site along the cliff path to the village and back, via Lighthouse Lane and Upton Way. A splendid male Yellow Wagtail was within the fenced off site boundary and two more were noted along our route. Having just turned towards the cliffs at the crossroads along Upton Way I noticed a small passerine with a distinct, stocky, Sparrow-like 'feel' flying in from the south-east. It gave a typical House Sparrow's 'chirrup' as it passed and then dropped into an extensive patch of Alexanders. I back-tracked to try and see it again and sure enough, out popped a male House Sparrow. It was a little unusual to see one here and my feeling is that it was probably a locally nesting bird on a feeding foray. Walking a little further I was somewhat saddened to see that groundwork was taking place in one of the holiday bungalows by the Decca site, the large tangle of brambles that on Monday had held at least a male Common Whitethroat (was there a mate on eggs?) had been levelled in the name of progress. It's a shame that a little more foresight isn't applied to such developments and that any scrub clearance is undertaken before birds have invested huge amounts of time and energy into establishing a territory, finding a mate, building a nest and laying eggs. The Whitethroats breeding season may not yet have reached this stage but, unfortunately, this scenario must be duplicated many hundredfold across the country each year.

Early this afternoon, as I drove homeward along the A149 at Smallburgh, I had a brief encounter with my second Hobby of the year as it zipped across the road on sharply raked wings. Our most agile Falcon, the Hobby favours Dragonflies above any other food source and the Ant valley will hopefully be able to provide plenty for the species this Summer.

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