|The Wheatear yesterday|
Also notable yesterday was a small movement of Gulls, just ahead of some seriously dark cloud that looked certain to produce rain, but didn't. An adult Great Black-backed was the 4th of the year, and 5 Herrings and a single Lesser Black-backed also moved through. 3 of the latter drifted over the Tilsey Farm area on the 19th, and a couple of Yellowhammers were heard, pleasing given the time of year. It seems this species if breeding just beyond the southern boundary of the recording area. A farm worker also told me of a couple of Barn Owl records from January, likely one of the Smithbrook/Whipley birds. The area looks good for Barn Owls, and I had a couple of failed attempts at seeing them here in the winter. The valley Cuckoo is now singing daily, from various locations, and the local Swallows and Willow Warblers are back on territory.
Away from the patch, I managed a morning catch up with David Campbell at Canons Farm on Wednesday, and on the 23rd enjoyed Tree Pipits, Reed Warblers, Woodlarks and Common Terns at Frensham. Hopefully, the weather will change, though the short-term forecast isn't fantastic, potentially delaying the arrival of the later migrants (Hobby, Spotted Flycatcher etc). I will be spending the next few days in north-east Poland, and hope to return to warm southerlies and Mediterranean overshoots!