A beautiful day today with sunshine from the outset, despite this, the light to moderate North-Westerly dampened temperatures somewhat.
Setting off from just north of 'The Arms' I firstly encountered a small flock of 12+ Redwings flying off north from roadside hedgerows.
Once I reached the B1108 I walked west to Bodney to check the flood-plains and Army training area for possible Wheatear, however, no sign today. Sadly, I did find a dead Barn Owl on the roadside, a traffic casualty no doubt.
I continued along the roadside and once at the flood-plain I encountered my first Green Sandpiper of the year. This wader flew up along the length of a ditch showing its conspicuous white rump.
Sign of courtship and forthcoming breeding was seen with a pair of Blue Tits prospecting for potential nest-sites, this included one of the pair entering a hole in an old dead Elder branch. Overhead, a male Greenfinch showed off his slow butterfly-like display flight, the female was also seen in a conifer below. A pair of Coal Tits passed through and male Blackbird and Song Thrush were feeding on nearby heathland. A single Redpoll passed over calling and heading north-west, a probable migrant on route back to its northern-europe breeding grounds perhaps.
Walking back along the road a pair of Curlews were seen together, this included the male singing its beautiful liquid/bubbling call. Woodland ahead of me held about 20 Fieldfare, 2 singing male Blackbird, and a singing Mistle Thrush.
I decided to check grassland close to Watton Brook and saw a pair of Oystercatchers probing in the earth for food.
On my walk back to the car I passed the barn where I think the dead Barn Owl found earlier called home, a sad end to this walk.