For the last patch visit of the month I decided to walk the Pub Field, Ashes Lane Fields, Migrant Alley and the Greenhouse grounds, plus have a bit of a sky watch. I wasn't expecting much, but was pleasantly surprised when I added GREY WAGTAIL (73)to the months list when one alighted on the old shack at the Ashes Lane Fields, then later, as I sky watched, I saw the first 3 SWIFTS (87,74) of the year wheeling over the sheep pasture at Migrant Alley, a fantastic sight, welcome back! Their arrival is just one day later than the 15year median first sighting date, but is the first record of an April swift since 2012.
LESSER WHITETHROAT, COMMON WHITETHROAT, BLACKCAP, CHIFFCHAFF and SWALLOW represented the other summer species seen today, the Lesser Whitethroat looks to have attracted a mate, as two birds were seen chasing along Ashes Lane :-)
BUZZARD and KESTREL were the only raptors seen on my sky watch today and HERRING GULL was the only Gull species.
April ended with a tally of 74 bird species recorded, which is the 5th best April out of the 15 recorded and one short of the mean tally for the previous 5 Aprils. It was disappointing not to see a Cormorant fly over, the first April this species has not been recorded, but more than disappointing was the absence of the Cuckoo, also a species that has always been recorded in April, another sad local extinction for Pittswood :-(
On a brighter note, I arrived home to find the years first record of Orange Tip Butterfly, when one flitted around my garden, giving me a few photo's :-)