Thursday, April 19, 2012

Warblers in but where are the Hirundines

Today I embarked on a rare lunchtime visit to EIDB, prompted by a text this morning from John Archer that a Goldcrest was in the area. Goldcrests are a very difficult species to see at EIDB, far rarer than Firecrests. I thought there was a fair chance that the bird would still be around with all the rain about, and I did relocate the bird in the copse, before it moved back into Virginia Quay. This is the first spring record of this species at the site. Also in the copse was a Willow Warbler, a Whitethroat and a pair of Blackcaps, none were in song. Amazingly I still have failed to connect with a Chiffchaff at EIDB this year.
There is still no sign of our Sand Martins and it is beginning to look doubtful that the species will breed this year. I have only seen a handful of Sand Martins this spring and I know of a number of birders who have yet to record one at all. This is looking like there is a serious problem, probably somewhere along their migration route. Other Hirundine species have hardly been common, just one day record of Swallows, no House Martins and it is to early for Swifts. This has so far been a strange spring migration with weather all over the place and many birdless days. We need some settled conditions, but it does look good at the moment.

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