After a short look around the monument and the Lees, where the sound of overflying Siskins was almost continuous, I drove up to near the Lighthouse and wandered down to the seat overlooking the valley.
While I was getting organised first a Kestrel and then two Sparrowhawks came directly overhead. When another raptor came over I started photographing it before realising it was an adult Peregrine. While I'm on about raptors I've had an e-mail from Peter Wilkinson about jingle-bells and he is pretty certain it is a Saker x Gyr. I've put his full text there. Despite the beautiful sunshine the only migrants I found were several singing Chiffchaffs, so I still await my spring favourite, the Willow Warbler. I did see several Brimstone Yellows, a Small White and a Tortoiseshell butterfly.
I decided to see if any of the Swallows had returned to the stables at Nelson Park, no luck but I did have my first Blackcap of the year singing at the end of Collingwood Road.
A quick flask back to yesterday. While I was in the bay I notices this large sailing boat about 4 miles out. I asked the expert ship watcher who is always up by the monument if he saw it and new who she was. He did and it turns out that it is the boat is now call Sedov (named after the arctic explorer George Sedov). Built in Germany in 1921 the ship was given to Russia as part of the war reparations in 1945. The masts are over 200ft high and the ship is over 300ft long. This summer it is visiting various UK ports, starting with Southend on April 30th to May 5th, day trips are £60, cheaper for families, so not a cheap day out.
While I was watching the sailing ship I noticed that the last of the Great-crested Grebes is still hanging around a few hundred yards out, it seems to have forgotten it's time to go inland and breed, although it has changed to summer plumage.