Wednesday 2nd May 2012
Cool with northerly breeze, overcast and misty with some drizzle.
It was another Nightingale survey early this morning, I visited the Clowes Wood area for the 2nd visit. This time I set off at 4.30am, still dark but before long there was enough light to see ok. Tawny Owls were calling, a Woodcock flew over the path 'roding', there were loads of Blackcaps, Garden Warblers, Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers, a few Whitethroats, Goldcrests, Coal Tits, 1 Siskin, 3 Redpolls and a lively flock of 10 Crossbills. They landed briefly and all the birds I could see appeared to be juveniles. After 3 1/2 hours round the woods I had recorded 9 singing Nightingales.
There was a lovely surprise waiting in the garden when I got home. I went in the kitchen for a cuppa, looked out the window and saw a male Bullfinch on the ground. I ran to grab the camera, but on my return there was no sight of him. However, a movement in the small apple tree caught my eye, the female Bullfinch. She sat still just long enough for a photo, taken through the double glazing, but it's still nice to see.
After lunch I took a trip to Chambers Wall in the hope of a few migrants, but the north wind looks to have slowed spring down again. I walked up to the beach and sat on the shingle in a bit of shelter to watch the sea, but apart from 5 Gannets flying east there was nothing about. A male Wheatear flew west and landed a little away, there were Shelduck, Gadwall and Shoveler in Coldharbour, a few Yellow Wagtails out in the fields, and the usual selection of waders around. I did have nice views of a male Cuckoo, and back at the car park there were 2 Lesser Whitethroats, as well as many Common Whitethroats.