Tuesday, 16 March 2010

A Scrub's Chat

A winter male Common Stonechat (Dean Eades)
This morning's visit to The Scrubs was a pleasant one. The sun eventually started to shine at around 7am and it was a little milder than of late. At least 3 male Meadow Pipits were in full song-flight display, which is always nice to see. All around the songs of Blackbirds, Song Thrushes, Robins and Dunnocks filled the air. Also singing were at least 2 Chiffchaff, a couple Chaffinches and a Linnet.

The best bird of the morning (apart from a lone overflying adult Great Black-backed Gull which is pretty scarce around here) was a female Stonechat that was hunting insects on the grassland. We normally have a wintering population of around 3 birds that normally depart at the end of March. This winter they were probably wiped out by the horrendously bad weather as early as mid-December and this migrant female was the first since then.

I just hope that spring is really on the way and there aren't any more surprises in store for us, because as in the Prince song, sometimes it snows in April.

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