|Common Tern, Broomy Down, 18/4/2018.|
The last two morning sessions have been particularly poor, with nothing of note. In fairness the 18th was lively – the earliest ever Common Terns a highlight as they journeyed high east over Broomy Down. There’d been huge numbers moving east along the south coast the previous day, and with a strong southerly blowing overnight, perhaps their appearance wasn’t such a surprise.
The first Whitethroat of the year was also in voice on the Ridge, and a couple of Willow Warblers were singing. However, it’s been shocking for the latter this spring – just 3 birds! A Lapwing over in the evening was nice, though it failed to mask the continued poor spring.
Hirundines are still very thin on the ground, and Sand Martin now looks like a write-off until the autumn. Wheatear will seemingly be very tough too, despite most county sites having birds. By this time last year Yellow Wagtail and Garden Warbler were also in, but the most concerning absentee is Cuckoo.
|Broomy Down, 18/4/2018.|
Despite this pessimism the local summer migrants are never particularly early in returning here, even in a Surrey context. However, the reality is it’s been disappointing so far, and at times a bit of a chore. As a result it’s hoped, more so than previous campaigns, than the optimum ‘last week of April/first week of May’ (much vaunted in in the birding world) will deliver this year.