Thursday, 17 May 2012

Nightingales - and second wave migrants

Nightingale at Stone Wood, May 12th

 Visiting my two tetrads for the BTO Nightingale surveys, it's clear that a second wave of birds has arrived with a promising nine new birds singing.  These birds are occupying territories in Hedgerow thickets in open countryside away from the more favourable woodland regrowth in Orlestone forest where territories are already taken. Some of the territories are where birds were present last year too, so even the second wave birds are picky about where to choose a territory despite a seemingly vast amount of similar territory to choose from. Around Shadoxhurst Nightingales can be heard in Hedgerows along Woodchurch road, Church lane and into adjacent countryside. Similarly Birds in  countryside between Park Farm and Kingsnorth have increased in number since my first visit.

The avian highlights of the last weekend were found visiting my favourite area of Stone Wood and surrounding countryside - (all from public footpaths). Here, I was delighted to find four Turtle Doves, already paired up. I think one pair is holding territory in land I'd over-looked last year - so  its good to know that familiar areas can still surprise. I've also noticed the odd pair of Stock Doves in arable  land close to the village. There are presently two Cuckoos singing / visiting countryside covering my village tetrad.
Turtle Doves, Orlestone forest, May12th
Much sorted second wave migrants now arriving are, Spotted flycatcher (one briefly in the garden Monday), and Hobby, one patrolling over the village the same day. Finally, visiting Birchett Wood tonight, four Willow warblers (previously absent this spring), were singing along with at least eight Nightingales and many Garden warblers and Blackcaps.

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