Tuesday, 7 April 2015
A morning at Canons Farm
I was on site at 06.00hrs - not a breath of wind nor a cloud in the sky. Chiffchaffs were already proclaiming their place at the edges of the woodland, with at least eight birds present. Quite a few of them were moving through, singing briefly from a tree top before flitting on and repeating the process. I wouldn't mind betting that most of them are nowhere near Canons Farm this evening. A couple of Redpolls passed overhead, but little else was moving this early.
It was not until 10.00hrs that things picked up. I bumped into David Campbell and we took up position at the watchpoint close to Canons Farmhouse barns. Almost immediately two Common Buzzards flew purposely through northwards, followed by a Red Kite, then possibly another, although we couldn't rule out that it was our original bird. 15 minutes later an undoubted second bird appeared from the east and headed westwards. A trickle of Meadow Pipits overhead went undetected save for the odd call and the flock of 200 Linnets that have taken to the neighbouring fields spent much of the time in agitation, splitting up, reforming and causing quite a commotion - no doubt in readiness of breaking up for good.
Summer migrants were missing - no Wheatears on the perfectly adequate fields and no early Willow Warbler or Whitethroat breaking cover - that is until a single Swallow moved through northwards, followed by two more birds an hour later. The warmth of the morning had transferred to the resident butterflies, as we were able to watch Peacocks, Small Tortoiseshells and Brimstones from our viewpoint, in a constant show of summer.