Quite a different morning from that which was forecast. Low cloud initially was soon replaced by warm sunshine. I was expecting quite dull conditions.
My intention was to hopefully find or at least hear Turtle Dove, a species which has shown site fidelity on my patch for years. None were heard on this visit sadly, perhaps they are on territory, perhaps they have not arrived yet. Turtle Doves are heavily hunted in the mediterranean basin, especially Malta, I am hoping my birds are safe.
This was a pleasant walk with a good variety of species with evidence of passage overhead:
1 Common Buzzard
1 TREE PIPIT heard passing overhead
7 Whitethroat territories
2 Lesser Whitethroat territories
4 Blackcap territories
1 Willow Warbler
2 Goldcrest (pair)
Goldfinch several pairs
6+ Bullfinch (3 pairs)
Greenfinch - several in area of old rail cutting (including displaying male)
As expected, several Whitethroats were singing and holding territory along the route and 2 Lesser Whitethroats were singing in typical habitat.
Most species variety was seen along the old rail cutting where some fine trees, hedgerows, and thick scrub, provide good breeding habitat. It was immediately east of the cutting where I sat for a while hoping to catch a sight of the singing Lesser Whitethroat. Blackcaps, Chiffchaff, and Greenfinches were seen. It was whilst watching this area that I heard a calling TREE PIPIT passing overhead, a good migrant species record.
Further along the road to the east some really fine habitat exists which today supported Lesser Whitethroat (1), Blackcaps, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler (1), Bullfinch (pair), and a pair of Goldcrests including a singing male.