Saturday, 11 April 2015

Spring rising

Before the rain came, this morning was fairly calm in the garden, and a Willow Warbler briefly sang in the corner before flitting across to the copse. At last the migrants are arriving- for the last week or so I've heard Chiffchaffs everywhere, but yesterday there were four or five Blackcaps around Roswell Pits adding their cheery song to the Dawn Chorus. An unexpected pleasure was the quiet thrilling voice of a Treecreeper down near the smallest pit. I have never seen or heard one of these woodland sprites at Roswell in spring or summer before, and I hope that it may hang around for a while.
Later on as the sun warmed the day, Isleham watermeadows was the site of our first Common Tern of the year. There were a few Redshank, Avocet, Snipe and one summer plumaged Black-tailed Godwit, and while one of the feral duck pairs escorted a brood of new ducklings across the water, a distant straggle of twenty-six Fieldfare was a distant reminder that winter is now behind us. Three Redwings back at Queen Adelaide and a couple of Sand Martins added to the feeling of seasonal flux- the short period where one set of birds is leaving and another set is arriving.
The rain held off long enough this morning for a short visit to the settling beds where the harriers were more active than usual. A male that I have not seen before drifted across the reedbed, causing the resident birds to take flight. The two males tangled and tumbled while the females swung around behind. Having seen off the intruder, a brief shower stopped all activity, but the male was up soon afterwards sky dancing and mewing high up over the village.