At last some more spring arrivals

A change in the wind direction has brought some much needed rain to the land and more birds have started to arrive. Yesterday, Willow Warbler and Blackcap were singing in the garden whilst more Swallows seemed to have arrived. Today the garden has been full of birdsong and a pair of Jays have been regular visitors.

On Friday, I had done my first atlas visit of the spring and the lack of summer visitors was most noticeable. Just lots of Willow Warblers, a few Swallows and a couple of Redstarts were the only notable ones - just single Chiffchaff and Blackcap was very surprising. However I got a good number of species including Goosander, Dipper, Siskin and Redpoll.

Today I called in at the Reservoir and much to my annoyance, there was a guy striding around the far bank, disturbing the waders. It did bring my attention to two Little Ringed Plovers though. I called in at a place I call Whitebirk Marsh - a rank piece of habitat that sits alongside the Leeds-Liverpool Canal between the arterial road and Sidebeet Lane. Here there are usually Sedge Warblers from early May onwards so I was delighted to hear one so early. I expect to have Whitethroat here but there was no sign of any just yet. However, whilst listening to the Sedge Warbler, my attention was drawn to the unmistakable reeling song of a Grasshopper Warbler in another bit of marshy ground on the south side of the canal - a very similar spot to last year. Try as I might I didn't see either of these warblers but I'll have another go over the next few weeks.

Finally, the sight of two House Martins over a favoured building was the first for the year - more goodies expected soon, then!


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