Wot, no Chiffchaffs, yet still the Redpolls keep coming

We're into the first week of May and though the weather has turned warmer, there are still winter birds around and a dearth os some migrants. A few Willow Warblers are singing around Rishton but there's a complete lack of Chiffchaffs in the area. Swallows and Sand Martins are thin on the ground too. Cool evenings on the reservoir normally result in flocks of hirundines but not much so far this year.

Following the successful twitch of the Killdeer a few weeks ago, it's been dipping time since. We mossed the Alpine Swift in Blackpool by five minutes and I completely forgot about the Rock Thrush - setting off on Saturday only to stop half way and enjoy some time at Fairburn Ings whilst the negative news arrived.

There's been little on the Reservoir apart from the Little Ringed Plovers that are regularly disturbed by fisherfolk. The Great Crested Grebes are attempting to build (all three pairs, but the receding water line is hampering all efforts.

We've been tackling a few jobs in the garden which is now beginning to take shape. We've been constantly serenaded by the sound of Redpolls and siskins over the past couple of weeks with at least 40 of the former in residence. So Mark came round today to catch some - 39 altogether including two controls and a Mealy Redpoll (or at least one that has the balance of evidence in its favour). Not only that but we trapped another SIX Blackcaps - and I thought I just had my regular garden pair. It's nice to see a few Starlings these days on the lawn as they'e been very scarce recently. Blue tits are inspecting three boxes in the garden.

Only two weeks now till we go and visit Heather in Chicago and then a trip to the west coast. Starting to get excited about that one!


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