This morning I wanted to check a location reliable for Turtle Dove, however, I couldn't hear or see any evidence so far. Turtle Doves are a main quarry of hunters in Europe and the Mediterranean basin and I always raise a smile when I know these birds have returned safely, despite this, their lives are one long struggle with their migration from and to Africa.
Although the wind was pretty cold this morning I did manage to locate the following:
4 Lesser Whitethroat (3 territories and one probable passage bird)
2 Willow Warblers
The first bird of the day was a singing male in a roadside hedge (not breeding habitat). An interesting observation seen with this bird as it flew from the hedge, gaining a little height, and continuing off in a southerly heading until I lost it to view. An example of a bird on passage maybe.
3 territories were found with singing birds present and at one site I watched for a good two hours as Lesser Whitethroats frequently entered a thick briar patch, which, as it happens, has been a reliable site for this species over the years.
|Briar patch 27/04/16. Breeding habitat of Lesser Whitethroat for many years. Birds seen here today.|
Song: Song was heard, not only given by this Lesser Whitethroat, but by others present this morning. The song I find is difficult to transcribe. It sounds like no other Warbler in that it is given in two parts. Most audible was a harsh rattle, written as j-j-j-j-j-j-j, however, if close to the bird, a quiet scratchy warble precedes the rattle