It was frustrating to see my first swift of the year while out doing the survey, also a Wheatear, but all was put right later in the day when my short trip around Migrant Alley provided me with not one, but two flyover SWIFTS (96,77), also noted were TURTLE DOVE and LESSER WHITETHROAT singing at the wooded Headland at the north end of Migrant Alley. A KESTREL and two BUZZARDS were seen going over.
So the month ends on a high after all, the Swift brought the months species total to 77, the best April yet ! Maybe it could have been higher still if Tawny Owl and Garden warbler had shown up, which certainly should have been possible. The combined April list for the ten years now stands at an amazing 102, it was incremented by just one this year, when that fantastic Ring Ouzel turned up. The mean species total for April is now 70, so I was well ahead of that too this year.
Tomorrow i'll be out early to start the May list, but it wont be as long as Aprils, the best may total is 72, achieved in 2009, and the combined May list comprises of 88 species, but it's a challenge i'll enjoy :-)
Later in the afternoon I tried out the new lens on the garden birds, I got lucky when the BULLFINCH dropped in on cue, it wasn't in the best position, but you have to take these birds when you can, they are extremely wary!
Above and below, male Bullfinch
The new lens is a Sigma, 120 - 400 stabilised lens, it wont make the photo's any better, but it sure means I dont have to get as close to the subjects as I used to! below is a GOLDFINCH on the sunflower hearts