Monday, 30 April 2012
Monday 30th April 2012 Mild (13C), N/E breeze F4, dry and sunny. I started with a Nightingale survey this morning, 5am just north of the main Thornden Woods. The west half of the tetrad stretches out to Chestfield Golf Club, and I located 4 Nightingales in thick hedgerows away from the woods. The eastern half was even more productive, with a minimum of 12 Nightingales singing. On more than one occasion recently I have come to realise that it's important not to rush through the tetrad, walking slowly or standing quietly for a few minutes can often reveal a bird which wasn't singing on initial approach to an area. As well as the general 'buzz' from finding so many singing birds, on walking across the fields at the top of Knockhimdown Hill a came across 7 Wheatears and 2 Whinchats in one small area. After a short trip home for breakfast I headed out to Shuart for a walk out to the coast to look for migrants. I managed 2 Wheatears, a selection of warblers and 2 Yellow Wagtails on the path north. By now it had warmed up, so I hid my jacket under a bush, to be collected later, and continued wandering around. Shortly afterwards I received a text from the wife asking to be picked up from a friend's house, so my trip was short-lived. I had lunch then set off to West Brook Valley, but it was very quiet. I was just thinking of taking a trip to the towers when I received a txt from Chris Hindle advising me of a male Golden Oriole at Shuart. I ran all the way to the car and got to Shuart as quick as possible, and set off up the track to the railway line. Taking time to look in the clearings along the hedge, I suddenly noticed the oriole flying distantly across some fields.