Saturday, 10 April 2010

10th April 2010

What a difference a few days make. On Monday Chiffchaffs were way out in front with Blackcaps making up the numbers and Willow Warblers no where to be seen. Today Blackcaps shot into the lead and we had great views of a singing Willow Warbler.

Monday counts were Blackcap 3, Chiffchaff 10, Willow Warbler 0.
Todays counts were Blackcap 10, Chiffchaff 9, Willow Warbler 3.

Met up with JA for my usual loop up along the river at Kempston Mill to Biddenham Loop and around the golf course and back to the Mill. It was a beautiful morning with wall to wall bird song. Hadn't even met up with JA and already had a Blackcap behind the Youth Centre and a Willow Warbler singing nearby. A pair of Sparrowhawks were in the Willow behind the ILEX building, enjoying breakfast. The Rookery was quiet, no sign of any chicks yet.

JA arrived and we set off upstream, the usual Stock Dove and a drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker were a nice start in the wooded section before we reached the Mill. Chiffies and Blackcaps were regularly heard, and a Kingfisher was seen, but our next stop was for a singing Treecreeper in the woods at the Backchannel. A little further and the distinctive sound of displaying Lapwings stopped us in our tracks. A quick scan and they were located on the east side of the western bypass.

A Mute Swan was on its nest on the island upstream of the Back Channel. Another Sparrowhawk was spotted in the woods here.

Around the Golf course we had more Chiffs and Blackcaps and a singing Yellowhammer. As we turned for home we came across another singing Willow Warbler that gave us great views. As we cut across the golf course the Skylarks came to the fore giving great views as they flew up from the cover singing strongly. The Little Grebe was still on one of the ponds on the golf course, a handful of Coots and family of Mute Swans were nearby. I doubt it will be long before that young Mute Swan gets his marching orders.

We altered our route slightly in the hope of getting better views of the Lapwings. We had great views of several Meadow Pipits, as we cut across the fields from Great Denham. A small party of Linnets (c15) was spotted and then a Lapwing went up over towards the bypass. There was no sign of any others to start with but then another 2 joined in.

As we reached the hedge line Skylark song gave way to Great Tit song and soon we were back at the Mill.

We also had report of a Red Kite down by the river at Biddenham Loop CP. There are Buzzards in the area so possibly mistaken identity but hopefully not.