Monday, 7 May 2012

Daily grind

Well, March exploded and April roared but so far May… is definitely spluttering. As April fizzled out into relative obscurity after an admirable innings that lasted right up to the end (culminating in 3 White-throated Robins in an hour one evening, and a whopping 21 Rollers on the next, plus a handy Sedge Warbler in pretty much the same flowerbed as last year) early May, which can often be really good, is still struggling to get going one week in. There have been good, if short-lived arrivals elsewhere, but 20 Nightjars in Al Ain resulted equated to just one for me on the same morning (and I have only seen one other since, and no Golden Orioles yet) and, although Marsh Warbler turned up on cue on 1st May, an avalanche of them in near-biblical proportions 250km due west of my circle on Friday failed to translate into even one next morning back here. It has also got suddenly really hot, and after a long, deceptively pleasant spring so far and that has made evening birding a bit slow, even though there seem to be lots of Sylvias about: I'm regularly hitting 10-15 individuals of up to five species on morning walks when they are all singing but almost none at the end of the day. I've seen more Blackcaps and Barred Warblers than ever before this spring and the usual late, maverick Menetries’s appeared as expected about 5 weeks after the majority had gone through. Whinchats were also well up in numbers last weekend with up to 7 at one site and a sprinkling elsewhere but almost all have gone now. A final little bonus this evening came from the Golf course lake, very disappointing of late, but boasting a silky-smooth Whiskered Tern floating over it tonight. Only my fourth on the island, and first ever in spring but never mind that: almost seven years ago to the day since your Lakenheath bird, Pete!


Total so far - 164 (93%)
Last addition – Whiskered Tern (7th May)

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