The alarm went off at 5:15 a.m. for Gail and I to head off to my wintering bird survey site in Cheshire. On arrival we were greeted with clear skies, with a moderate SSE wind. It was a glorious morning, but I didn't envisage recording too much of interest.
The first bird to make it into my notebook was Buzzard, four of them to be exact, including a very pale bird that received a bit more scrutiny than normal! In fact it was a bit of a Buzzard day with the wall to wall sunshine creating thermals, and driving home we saw numerous Buzzards from the motorway.
Tree Sparrows are often a feature of this site and this morning we had six all calling noisily, probably getting a bit frisky with the signs of spring in the warm air. The Fieldfares were still about, but only 66 today, and I we didn't see a single Redwing.
A walk across the maize field where I had a good few Snipe earlier in the week, produced only four. The Linnets had moved to a field of cereal stubble, but the flock only contained twenty birds. I'm guessing this is the same, or part of the same flock that I recorded earlier in the week, but perhaps the approaching spring has caused the flock to break up a bit.
A Siskin over could have been on vis, as Ian had a few Siskins over on the coast back at the Obs. As Gail and I approached the hedge along the track, I saw a Robin-like bird fly a few metres along the hedge and there was a flash of a rusty-red tail! It perched up and I was looking at a female/imm. Black Redstart! I raised my camera to get a quick shot and it flicked over the hedge! We tried in vain to relocate it, but it had vanished. It certainly made our morning.
The moth trap is on as I write for the first time this year, so it will be interesting to see if there is anything in it in the morning. The tides are early-ish in the morning at the moment, so if I can get out of my pit I might just have a look on the sea at the Obs tomorrow.
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