Desert Wheatear - why not? (John Charman)
The last couple of mornings at The Scrubs have been all about Northern Wheatears. I'm not saying that I have been witnessing swarms of the blighters, no, in fact it's only involved a single female that has probably stuck around for the last couple of days. No, the fact is that I could be well on course for a big spring count.
Most springs I have to content myself with maybe 5 or 6 birds between mid-March to the end of May. We have already had upwards of 10 birds and April has only just started. Our record spring was in 2006 when we recorded at least 42 birds including a flock of 11 on the football pitches. That year was also notable for falls of 5 Common Redstarts, 11 Spotted Flycatchers in one fractious flock, 3 Nightingales, 2 Cuckoos and a Ring Ouzel. That's what I call a good urban trawl!
Finally a couple of links for you. Firstly, The Urban Birder on BBC London Tonight talking about the Tower 42 Bird Study Group:
And TUB on the BTO's site talking about the demise of House Martins in their 'Out of Africa' Appeal: http://www.bto.org/appeals/a2b/
Let me know what you think.