A morning of showers dictated the agenda this morning, a quick tour of Pilling shore before domestic arrangements called a halt.
At Lane Ends the Willow Warblers and Blackcaps seem to have arrived in decent numbers, unlike some others yet to put in an appearance; no Reed or Sedge Warblers yet. This morning I counted 3 Willow Warblers singing plus 2 Blackcaps, and managed to get a shot of a Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla in between it flitting fast and low through the bushes while singing its head off. One of the Blackcaps wasn’t as good a songster as the one pictured here, and at first I thought I was listening to a Garden Warbler Sylvia borin until I caught glimpses of that black helmet. Eventually the second one tuned up a bit too, but I don’t mind saying that at the start of each spring, separating the two Sylvias from their songs alone can be difficult.
For anyone still unsure, there’s a comparison below, useful at the start of the season until ears get reacquainted with the differences.
In the trees the 2 Jays seem to come and go according to no particular schedule but which is probably dictated by the amount of food put out for the assorted duck population. Still a singing Reed Bunting, 2 Little Grebe, 2 Tufted Duck, 1 Little Egret, 2 Grey Heron and the patrolling Kestrel. At Fluke Hall there was a steady passage of Swallows heading into the easterly breeze, 20 + in just 15 minutes. Along the hedgerow here 3 Willow Warblers “hooeeted” as if they had just arrived, with 2 more singing in the woodland together 2 more Blackcaps and the resident Chaffinches. Across the far side of the wood I watched a male Sparrowhawk glide through the trees, in much the same spot as last year’s pair.
Stay tuned for the next post from a place quite unlike Pilling.