An early morning cycle ride out of Shadoxhurst, down Duck Lane and through to Stone Wood showed what a good year it appears to be for our common migrants. Undisturbed by traffic and traffic noise, the sound of Whitethroat and one Lesser Whitethroat were calling from garden edges and a Willow Warbler is holding territory in the mini-wasteland that was the car garage at the bottom of the village. There to, Goats Beard is growing in the cracks of the broken garage forecourt. Many Swallows and House Martins were loitering on wires - Mediterranean style, and all just wonderful to see!
I mentioned earlier in April, that Nightingales had returned in good numbers to the woods to the south of Shadoxhurst, but now their numbers have been supplemented further by more birds and the sound is just fantastic. This morning their were 3 birds singing in Hedgerow along Duck lane before even entering the woods. And as I left Stone wood taking the track back to Woodchurch road, 2 further birds were singing in Hawthorn in the company of Skylarks and Yellowhammers! In fact Nightingales seem to be in every woodland I visit at the moment. Whitethroat, Garden warbler, Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Willow warbler are all plentiful too.
A pair of Bullfinches and Long tailed Tits were in the Duck Lane hedge. One Cuckoo is calling and sounds quite wheezy at times, - a metaphor of the bird's decline perhaps? No sign of Turtle Dove. Similar nothing to report on our local raptors. Skylarks are plentiful in the arable land behind Stone wood and back along the fields to Shadoxhurst.
But the bird of the morning was seen after I finished my ride. Stood looking back through the garden, contemplating cutting back the height of our Sallow trees over hanging my neighhbours garden, a splendid Whimbrel at nothing more than 200 feet flew straight over the garden. Camera in hand but slow to respond, I caught this quick snap as the Whimbrel headed North East and into the sun.