Godalming area birds

Godalming area birds


Monday, 30 April 2018

Pretty Visitors

Wheatears, Bonhurst Farm, 28/4/2018.
Finally a decent weekend on patch, with fall conditions on Friday into Saturday producing several highlights, including no less than 4 new birds for the year. The best of these was the remarkable number of Wheatears – 8 birds over the 2 days, including a record count of 5 on Sunday. The first Garden Warblers also arrived, as well as the earliest ever records of Swift and Hobby.

Every year is the same with Wheatears. You check the ideal looking sites (the Ridge, Bonhurst and Slades Farm) again and again, until finally perseverance pays off. This year it was very much London bus-style – a group of 3 visited Bonhurst for an hour or so on Saturday afternoon, before a single female at Ridings Brook (weirdly in an Ash!) on Sunday and another flock of 4 at Bonhurst later in the day.

Garden Warblers also turned up, among a marked sylvia arrival on Sunday. Plenty more Whitethroats and Willow Warblers too were in voice, along with Cuckoos, though I've still to catch up with the latter species. The Garden Warblers brought my list for 2018 up to 100, always a nice milestone, though it's the 106th species recorded here this year (Hobby making it 107 on Sunday).
Garden Warbler, New Barn, 29/4/2018.

2 Swifts north early on Saturday certainly weren’t on the radar – this is an earliest arrival by 7 days, and coming in drizzly and cold conditions was a bit of a surprise to see. A single Hobby on Sunday was another early record, by 8 days. The behaviour suggested it was in fact one of the returning local birds.

4 Lapwings moved north-west on Sunday too, but despite a vigil from Broomy Down I didn't manage to connect with any Bar-tailed Godwits - flocks of 31 (Walton Reservoirs) and 36 (Richmond Park) had graced Surrey skies earlier in the day. Sunday was a windy and cold affair, unlike the slightly more settled conditions of Friday and Saturday - these had produced little wind and rain, which resulted in the falls of migrants both locally and across the country.

Pied Flycatcher, Shalford water meadows, 28/4/2018.
In these conditions on Saturday I made the brief excursion to Shalford water meadows where Kit B had dug out a real local rare, in the shape of a female Pied Flycatcher. Sadly it was on private land, but given it’s active and elusive behaviour it would have been difficult for others to connect with anyway. Seemingly a brief visitor, the bird had moved on by Sunday - a really great find for Kit, and a species I'd love to unearth here.

April has delivered a lot of new species for the year, but in truth the daytime birds have been the usual spring fare. Noc-mig has provided the 5-star moments, with Common Scoter early in the month being rivalled by an Avocet for bird of the year. The individual in question flew over Allden’s Hil, during the warm spell, on the 20th, uttering it's flight call twice.

I thought Avocet from the off, and the consensus agreed when I shared the clip. The call and (crucially) the spectrogram match really nicely with this great recording of a nocturnally migrating Avocet by Joost van Bruggen. In the adjacent picture, my spectrogram is the pink on blue, and his the black on white.
Nocturnal Avocet spectrograms

With the recent removal of Little Bunting from the Thorncombe Street list Avocet becomes the 153rd species recorded here. All great stuff, but there's no denying the lunar birding has eclipsed the solar sessions this spring. Hopefully during the classically productive first couple of weeks of May I can find some special, daylight pretty visitors?

Away from patch, a venture to deepest Wales today delivered a very smart Green Heron.

Friday, 27 April 2018

A Long Weekend In Andalucia

A few days in southern Spain was a welcome respite from what's been a patch slog this spring, with a typically fantastic cast of birds. In the company of David, Matt, Robin and Wes we tallied up 158 species, including some strong raptor migration over the Straits - over 3000 birds, with 11 species involved.

I could wax lyrical about the trip and area, but instead I'll run through it chronologically via some photos below.

Our first full day saw us head to the east side of the Rio Guadalquivir, and the fringes of the simply epic Donana National Park, where we focused our attention on the saltpans, rice fields and pools around Bonanza.

Great Reed Warbler, Bonanza Pools, 22/4/2018

Greater Flamingos, Bonanza Pools, 22/4/2018

Western Bonelli's Warbler, Bonanza Pools, 22/4/2018.
Bonanza pools are a collection of rather unimpressive looking ponds, next to a factory and fly-tipping site. Despite this, the first (and largest) pool had the below three species, including 24 White-headed Ducks. Also present was a Great Reed Warbler and several Red-crested Pochards.
White-headed Duck, Bonanza Pools, 22/4/2018.
Black-crowed Night-Heron, Bonanza Pools, 22/4/2018.
Western (Purple) Swamphen, Bonanza Pools, 22/4/2018.
The saltpans held loads of Greater Flamingoes, waders and gulls (mainly Slender-billed). Little and Caspian Terns were knocking about too. We also heard our only Western Olivaceous Warbler of the trip here, and plenty of raptors were overhead

Greater Flamingoes and Slender-billed Gulls, Bonanza Saltpans, 22/4/2018.

Kentish Plover keeping an eye on a passing Booted Eagle, Bonanza Saltpans, 22/4/2018.
We then moved up towards Los Portugueses Saltpans/Guadalquivir estuary marshes, passing a fence had a Western Black-eared Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Woodchat Shrike, Whinchat and Common Cuckoo on it.

Western Black-eared and Northern Wheatears, Guadalquivir marshes, 22/4/2018.
Western Cattle Egret, Guadalquivir marshes, 22/4/2018. Slightly better than my photos of the patch birds last year
Western Cattle Egret, Guadalquivir marshes, 22/4/2018.
Personally, the main target at Los Portugueses Saltpans/Guadalquivir marshes was Marbled Duck. Not only a lifer for me, this is a species I've always wanted to see in the wild, ever since visiting the 'Iraqi Wetland' site at Arundel WWT as a kid. We saw 5+ birds, but sadly they were all either distant or elusive. The most obvious species here was Western Yellow Wagtail  - on the trip we recorded 3 subspecies, flavaiberiae and, notably, feldegg.

Marbled Duck, Guadalqivir marshes, 22/4/2018.
Western Yellow Wagtail (flava), Guadalquivir marshes, 22/4/2018.
Having enjoyed an extremely productive time around Donana, we headed back south and inland to an area of open farmland near Benalup. This type of habitat is perhaps by favourite - loads of vistas, big open spaces and, as we were in Spain, birds to go with it. The main target was Little Bustard, which was eventually found after a bit of searching. In fact, a male unusually decided to display out in the open, which allowed for decent scope views. A male Montagu's Harrier passed over at one point, and both species (which are easily two of my favourites) were briefly viewable together in binoculars

Displaying Little Bustard, near Benalup, 22/4/2018.
To end the day we visited the similar habitat (slightly more hilly) near Cantarranas, where Black-winged Kite was eventually seen, close to dusk. Calandra Larks and a Melodious Warbler were also seen here.

Calandra Lark, near Cantarranas, 22/4/2018.

Black-winged Kite, near Cantarras, 22/4/2018.
Day three was raptor migration watching, and we had the fortune of being able to do it from our accommodation garden! In just over 3 hours we had a staggering 375 Booted Eagles, 222 Griffon Vultures, 131 Black Kites, 20 Egyptian Vultures, 32 European Honey-buzzards, 3 Short-toed Eagles, 2 Western Ospreys, 1 Western Marsh Harrier, 1 Montagu's Harrier, 1 Common Buzzard, 1 Common Kestrel and 5 Eurasian Sparrowhawks!

Pale-morph Booted Eagle, El Curaton, 23/4/2018.

Egyptian Vulture, El Curaton, 23/4/2018.
Griffon Vulture, El Curaton, 23/4/2018.

European Honey-buzzard, El Curaton, 23/4/2018.
Later in the day we visited the introduced Northern Bald Ibis colony near La Barca de Vejer. After this, we headed up to neighbouring Vejer. This attractive town up on a hill holds a colony of Lesser Kestrels, which we watched from a car park that looked out west towards the coast.

Northern Bald Ibis, La Barca de Vejer, 23/4/2018.
Lesser Kestrel, Vejer, 23/4/2018.
To end the day we visited Bolonia, famous for hosting Europe's first breeding White-rumped Swifts. We were too early in the year for these, but did manage to see a few Blue Rock Thrushes, some closeup Griffon Vultures, a Subalpine Warbler and, best of all, a distant Iberian Green Woodpecker (we heard 3+ in total).
Blue Rock Thrush, Bolonia, 23/4/2018.
The final day was again spent watching the raptors cross the strait, and from the beach near Tarifa we counted a crazy 2600+ Black Kites. Crested Larks, Northern Wheatears and a Short-toed Treecreeper were recorded near our watch point, and several Black Storks flew over too.
Crested Lark, Tarifa beach, 24/4/2018.

Black Kite, Tarifa beach, 24/4/2018.
Northern Wheatear, Tarifa beach, 24/4/2018.
On our way to the airport we stopped off in the Grazalema nation park, where we saw some final target species, including Rock Bunting and Black Wheatear. The comfortable highlight, however, was the remarkable discovery of a Bonelli's Eagle on the nest, complete with chicks. A great end to the trip.
Bonelli's Eagle, Grazalema national park, 24/4/2018.

Friday, 20 April 2018

Perhaps Dreadful Is a Bit Strong But...

Well the first period of spring is done. I’m off to Spain for a few days where, to be honest, I’m looking forward to just seeing some birds. The weather has been glorious the past couple of days but, in terms of migrant birds, it’s simply a long-awaited invitation to get on with their journeys, and not hang about. Consequently, the patch has been very quiet indeed, adding to the dreadful theme of this spring.
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.
A male has returned on almost the same day for the last 3 years at least, singing for a couple of weeks in April and early May from Allden’s Hill and the Ridge. There’s been no site nor sound so far this year – maybe this long-distance migrant hasn’t made it back this year? Or maybe, hopefully, he’s just been delayed by the weather. It’d be odd though, given plenty of other Surrey Cuckoos are in…

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.

Monday, 16 April 2018

Sweet Dreams AH

At long last I was able to enjoy some sunshine on the patch this weekend, with warm weather and blue skies on Saturday bringing the site to life (although of course, it was back to fog and thick cloud on Sunday). A few more spring migrants were noted as a result, including the first House Martins and Willow Warbler of the year, but two flyover records of patch megas stole the headlines – namely the third ever Whimbrel, and second ever Common Scoters.

Mandarin, Scotsland Brook, 14/4/2018.
On top of the above, a strong supporting case helped generate the feeling that spring is finally here – Crossbills on both weekend days, a Hawfinch, the second Peregrine of 2018 and the latest ever Bramblings top of the bill. A few more Swallows were present too, including seemingly some of the Slades Farm breeders.

The Willow Warbler, which was singing at Leg-of-Mutton Copse, was a relief as much as anything – this declining species seems to be harder to connect with in the spring (although 1-2 pairs do still breed) every year, and the 15th as an arrival date is strikingly late. However, hopefully a few more will be heard in the next few days as they move north through the country.

The Whimbrel was a most surprising addition to the year list, despite a notable amount of inland records on Saturday morning (including a bird over Leith Hill). Abel and I were sky-watching at Tilsey Farm when the loud, bubbling flight-call drew our attention to the individual, which was presumably on an overland leg of its migration to northern breeding grounds. This is the third record, after 9 over the Ridge on 27th July, and a stunning flock of 20 over Goose Green last August.

Just being able to sit out in a t-shirt on Saturday was uplifting, and the first butterflies of 2018 came as no surprise. Inevitably, Brimstone lead the roll call, with a Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell also seen. With a bit of a breeze it felt good for an Osprey, but despite the aforementioned Tilsey stakeout, and another on Broomy Down, there was no luck.

Blue Tit, Broomy Down, 15/4/2018.
The fog took hours to clear on Sunday, but with the first Thorncombe Street ringing session taking place at Broomy Down, attentions were focused here. Having scouted out the site a few weeks previous, Steve came down and he, Matt and I enjoyed a few hours during which time we trapped 8 birds, including a migrant Blackbird candidate.

The gloomy conditions were emphasised by a rather wintry avian cast joining us on Broomy Down – 3 Bramblings, a Crossbill, a Hawfinch and female Yellowhammer certainly not species associated with spring here. Despite less than optimum conditions it was a good haul, and looks likely to be the start of some long-term ringing studies here, which should link nicely with the new nocturnal migration recording taking place several times a week, as well as the longer-term vis-mig watches.

It was in fact noc-mig that stole the weekend show (which was no easy feat given the line-up), when at least 2 Common Scoters were recorded moving over Allden’s Hill at 22:39 on Sunday night. Truly astonishing stuff – this sea duck would otherwise not even feature on my radar here. Allden's Hill strikes again.

The recording (available here) is much clearer and definitive than the previous one, and even makes me question if the first one can be accepted as 100% certain (and consequently OK as the first ever Thornocmbe Street record). I’ll compare and contrast later, and make a decision.

The week ahead

White Stork (Category E!), private site.
Finally, it looks like a prolonged spell of southerly winds and sunshine is here (typically as I’m off to Spain this weekend!). This should get the migrants over the line no problem, but the possible issue (particularly for a site like mine) is that the delay may mean none choose to stop off for long. Wheatear is the particularly uncertainty in this sense, despite April records every year so far.

More guaranteed is the first Cuckoo, and it’s quite possible that Whitethroat and Garden Warbler may be on the year list by this time next week. I’d just be happy with some hirundine action, a few more Willow Warblers and pleasant weather.

There’s the chance stuff might not hang around long, but the flip side could be large volumes of bits moving, on both vis and noc-mig sessions. In terms of the latter, the forecast clear nights this week could be good for a wader. As fun as noc-mig is though, finding something yourself in the field is far more satisfying, but I don’t expect the optimum time for that just yet. Anyway, after the spring we’ve had, I’m just happy with the regular summer visitors for now.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Noc-mig Mega

Only 4 sessions and 32 hours in, and the noc-mig set up has reeled in a big one – Common Scoter no less, with 2 birds recorded calling as they flew over Allden’s Hill at 09:52 on Monday 10th. As mentioned in my noc-mig post a couple of weeks back, this species was the main instigator in me getting involved with the increasingly popular sound recording technique, and naturally I’m over the moon to have such a species here.

Common Scoter spectrogram
It may seem a bit far-fetched for so many Common Scoters to be recorded flying over various inland locations at night. However, the reality is over 100,000 birds winter off the UK coast alone (with the wintering population extending down the east Atlantic all the way to the Mediterranean), and when these birds return their northern breeding grounds why would they not move overland, in suitable conditions?

These numbers have been reflected in ‘falls’ on a couple of days during the last few weeks. When on BirdGuides duty on 25th March it had happened in style, and I tweeted about the staggering grounded, inland numbers – 103 no less. A similar, smaller fall occurred over the bank holiday weekend, and again last Sunday – it seems drizzle and mist/fog is best for pushing this sea duck down and ultimately to land.

For a much more detailed insight into overland Scoters, I can’t recommend reading this post by The Sound Approach enough – a really inspiring piece, and if anyone reading this has thought about investing in noc-mig gear but hasn’t yet, do it! It’s so fascinating.

Other nights have produced interesting stuff, including a Snipe, 3 owl species and plenty of Moorhens. On the night of the Scoter, interestingly, 6 Mandarins were recorded, along with a Little Grebe. The Scoter call can be heard here, and the spectrogram attached is really the hard proof that this was indeed the species in question – indeed it matches up with Matt’s flyover Scoter spectro nicely.
Drake Common Scoter (Wikipedia).

The call sounds slightly deeper, and did have me a little hesitant at first. However, this is likely for two reasons. Firstly, the birds were probably distant, but also, I’d wrapped the microphone in cling-film that night to keep it dry, and everything sounded deeper. The first bird is exceptionally faint, but can just about be made out at the very start of the clip (weirdly best heard through just a left earphone), and then the other bird calls 3 times. At least two, but it could well have been a flock.

So, a much, much needed patch boost during what’s quickly become my most dire spring here on record. I genuinely can’t remember the last enjoyable, eventful session I had, and I haven’t had a sunny patch day since February! Rain has dominated, with this week mist and fog ruining hoped-for dawn sessions.

Common Scoter becomes the 153rd species recorded in the Thorncombe Street area, and the 94th bird of 2018.

Monday, 9 April 2018

Timely Anniversary

Cattle Egrets, Leg-of-Mutton Copse, 9/4/2017
Well, every year is different isn’t it? On 9th April 2017, under vivid blue skies, a warm southerly airflow gently coasted up the country, with temperatures reaching 25 celsius. Just after 09:00, having decided to walk Juniper Hill and Leg-of-Mutton Copse, two dazzling white birds caught my eye, flying north over the pen stretch of path that looks towards Hascombe.

To my astonishment, they were two Cattle Egrets. Looking out the window of the office today, with mist and rain coming down, it feels like a very different spring. It was however, at the time, a stark reminder that one can’t give up on the patch, and that persistence does pay off - much like this year, things had been slow going until that epic moment.

As it stands it’s my number one find here, with the record recently accepted by the Surrey Bird Club Rarities Committee as the third-ever county Cattle Egrets, and the only occasion when more than 1 bird has occurred together. It must be mentioned that, should it be accepted (it’s still in circulation), the 2016 Monty’s would probably eclipse them…

Anyway, during such slow times on patch it’s a nice reminder to keep at it. I did finally get a first patch Swallow of the year on Saturday, with an individual over Allden’s Hill early on followed by another at Mill Pond a little later. Abel then had a small flock over Allden’s Hill in the afternoon. Nice, but there’s no ignoring that the 7th is the latest ever arrival date (by 3 days) for Swallows here.

A real thrash of the site on Saturday didn’t really produce much, bar the Swallows, with only a handful of Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs in voice. A singing Brambling and a few Hawfinches lifted the mood, but really it was a slow and disappointing weekend (full sightings here). With Thursday and Friday bathed in glorious sunshine, and decent birds turning up across the county, frustration can’t be avoided.
Swallow, Mill Pond, 7/4/2018

Some hope lies in my new noc-mig project. After a false start last week, an 8-hour recording over Friday night/Saturday morning intrigued. A Snipe flew over at 02:51 (rare here), and a Barn Owl was heard a few times around a similar time. There were also some Moorhens and Mallards on the move, and I honestly can’t wait to give it another go this week.

If the daytime birding is slow, then perhaps nocmig will prove to be my spring salvation?

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Over The Hump?

Firecrest, Thorncombe Street, 5/4/2018.
Maybe. Blue skies today, sadly just breaking out as I had to head for work. However, at long, long last, the first singing Blackcaps of the year were in voice at New Barn, and there was a notable increase in both Chiffchaffs and Firecrests throughout the site.

That first hirundine is surely coming at any time soon (if one hasn't already passed through, undetected), and I'm quietly hopeful of the first Willow Warbler this weekend. Now if that lazy, calming song isn't a pointer to warmer times, then what is?

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Let the #nocmig begin

It’s been on the cards for a while, but last week I made the jump and invested in a (fairly basic) nocturnal-migration recording kit. Given my devotion to my patch, and immense fascination for bird migration, this was always going to happen at some stage.

I’ve found noc-mig extremely interesting throughout its rise in popularity in the UK during the last few years. I still struggle to believe the frequency with which Ortolans seem to move inland overnight – both Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire recorded their first ever Ortolans last year, and both were thanks to noc-mig.
Ortolan Bunting, Brake, Shetland, 11/10/2016

The tipping point personally was Matt’s Common Scoter over his house last month. Pulborough is less than 15 miles south of Thorncombe Street (as the Scoter flies), and this kind of mouth-watering species, that would never otherwise be recorded here, was more than enough motivation to get involved.

In Surrey terms, I know Wes is set to ride the wave, and it'll be interesting to see how our findings compare. It also seems I’ll be lucky enough to position the kit on a private bit of high land on the patch. Consequently, I’m massively excited to see what I can add to the migration picture, and (hopefully) pick up a new bird or two for the site. Let the noc-mig begin.

Monday, 2 April 2018

27th March-2nd April

I was hoping to be writing about the first Swallow of the year in this post, but sadly the mixed and largely dire Easter weekend weather put paid to that. However, there have certainly been some avian highlights during the past few days, most of which occurred yesterday (the only fully dry day).
Firecrest, Eastwaters, 2/4/2018

Peregrine finally joined the year list, and a pre-dawn Barn Owl was only the second 2018 record of this locally elusive species. A wonderful north-east push of Meadow Pipits also occurred, though all of the above was nearly eclipsed by a probable Osprey over Mill Pond, sadly not nailed to 100% ID.

For what it's worth, all the latest sightings are now published (daily) on this page.


Nothing major, though Abel had a couple of Bramblings on the Ridge on the 29th, and it seems they've since moved out. On the 30th I tried hard for a birthday year tick but in pretty wet conditions, unsurprisingly fell short - 3 Gadwall on Mill Pond was the highlight.

Cormorants, Broomy Down, 31/3/2018.
The 31st was slightly drier, though still murky with drizzly showers. The south-west wind was favourable, and having failed to secure any Meadow Pipit migration this year, I decided to give a sky-watch from Broomy Down ago.

Early spring Mipit movement really is one of my highlights of the year - a fore-bearer of warmer times and 'real' spring migrants, I can sit on a fine, late March day counting their calls for hours. As it happened, I managed 55 in 2 hours and 20 minutes - nothing special at all!


With a gentle north-west wind and no rain (!) forecast, the plan was to squeeze as much as I could out the patch. It got off to a flier - on the way to Broomy Down before dawn, a Barn Owl was quartering roadside, west of the A281 at Brookwell/Rooks Hill.

Very distant Peregrine, Broomy Down, 1/4/2018.
This species is hard to see here, with pairs present in the area around the patch, but not actually in it. After Matt's record just further south on the A281 in February, it seems this is the best area for catching up with Barn Owl here.

I was up on Broomy Down at sunrise, and about half an hour in picked up a Peregrine flying north-east. Never common here, 2018 has been particularly poor for this falcon - this was the first record of the year. The bird picked up speed and disappeared towards Bramley. Given the species habit of hunting early, this individual may not have come from so far away.

Shortly after I was joined by Steve C, and he accompanied me for the majority of the 3 hour and 20 minute watch. Movement was at a premium, with an early push of Meadow Pipits fizzling out (though 69 still wasn't bad). A late Redwing, Yellowhammer, 4 Hawfinches and a Great Black-backed Gull were the other highlights.

Abel ventured out in the middle of the day, and had what was surely an Osprey over Mill Pond at 12:30. A monster record, plenty were on the move nationally yesterday, and it's very likely this was this species he saw. However, the height of the bird meant key features couldn't be secured, and unfortunately 100% certainty not clinched. A shame - this would have been just the 3rd record here.

Skylark, Tilsey Farm, 1/4/2018.
This was enough to get me back out, and I took up position at Tilsey Farm. It was then that the Meadow Pipit push I'd waited for finally happened, and how! Between 13:40 and 15:10, 155 pushed north-east in a near constant stream, from single birds to flocks of 18. 155 in itself is a new spring record, so the day total of 224 smashed it.

That this movement was happening now suggests to me that, thanks to the weather, this spring has been pushed back by a week or so - normally Mipit movement happens around the 23rd/24th March. A couple of Skylarks were vocal here, and loads of raptors were up, but sadly no Osprey.


Back to rain, rain and more rain. Sam and I bravely/stupidly decided to head up to the Ridge and back, and unsurprising we saw nothing of note here, bar a Hawfinch at Slades Farm and 3 Reed Buntings on the Ridge. The rain eased off later, and two singing Firecrests at Eastwaters were finally a suggestion that spring is coming.

Migrating Meadow Pipits, Tilsey Farm, 1/4/2018
The week ahead

It's hard to get massively excited, despite a run of southerly winds. Rain looks set to continue for the next couple of days, and then after an OK end of the week, it seems that next weekend an easterly element will bring more rain. Grim.

Hopefully, despite all this, I'll scrape a Swallow or maybe a Willow Warbler. Given I haven't even heard a Blackcap sing this year though, I'm not optimistic. Beyond the week ahead the forecast is a lot more optimistic however, and it's looking more and more likely that we'll have a concentrated push of migrants mid-month, which could be fun.

I think the dry days at the end of this week may be a good time to debut my new noc-mig gear...