11 May 2008

A (very) little bit of April birding in Warwickshire

I've had very few opportunities for birding during April, but here's an overview (if only to keep my notes up to dates).

Early in the month I took a quick walk around Ufton Fields and enjoyed a good numbers of returning Chiffchaffs, a couple of Willow Warblers, a pair of Mistle Thrush, and views of Green and Great Spotted Woodpecker.

I followed this with a disappointing walk around Napton Reservoir - disappointing because the banks on one side have been completely cut back, leaving the reservoir looking barren and uninviting - and lacking in cover for the variety of birds that can normally be found there. At least I found my first Swallows of the year.

Back in Radford Semele, the Swallows, then House Martins then Swifts arrived (early, mid and late April respectively). My pond continues to attract a pair of Mallards, we have had plenty of Buzzard sightings low over the house, and my best garden birds were a Jay and a Goldcrest (the former a garden tick, and the latter a pretty rare visitor).

Away from my normal patch, my favourite find was a Lapwing flying low over fields near Claverdon, as I drove home from work one evening. I never grow tired of those.

And just before the end of the month, I managed to squeeze in a quick trip to Brandon Marsh, adding a bit of variety to my birding with a few waders (Common Sandpiper, Lapwing and Redshank), waterfowl (including a pair of Shelduck) and sundry others (plenty of Sand Martins).

Bird of the Month: Red Kite (Milvus milvus), a large number of which have been constant companions as I travelled up and down the M40 instead of doing any 'proper' birding!

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