Friday, 3 May 2013

Has Spring sprung at last?

A walk along the cliffs today and then round Bockhill Farm was my first visit since my return from holiday. It was also the first time that I felt that spring was really here, especially as a Blackcap was singing as I left the garden. Even then the wind did pick up a little as the afternoon wore on and in all truth the number of birds around was a little disappointing.

Of course it is always good to see and hear Whitethroats back. Their song may be a bit scratchy but it's cheerful and after the massive crash in population between 1968 and 1970 it is a relief each year that they return. That crash was caused by climatic conditions in the Zahel region but the other "songster" that pleased me today has declined because of conditions in the UK.

Despite the lack of hedges and huge areas of Oil Seed Rape (beware if you suffer from Hay-fever!)  one or two Corn Buntings are still hanging on here. One was singing from somewhere in the Oil Seed Rape near the cliff top as I walked down the path, although I failed to locate it, and another or possible the same bird flushed from the other side of the field as walked the path by the Freedown. Also singing above the field were a couple of Skylarks and one or two Swallows passed overhead. Along the Droveway a Lesser Whitethroat gave its rattling song as I walked by. A quick look at the sea from the bay failed to find any passing groups of Pomarine Skuas but unexpectedly a Shag was fishing just out from the Bay. Was this a late winter visitor or something more interesting?

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