A single Reed Bunting (above) was seen along the side of the lake. I spent ages trying to get a decent pose but this is the best I could get. A story repeated time and again throughout the morning. The sunken marsh was seemingly featherless, the only real sign of life coming from the Cetti's Warblers who announced their presence with gusto but remained hidden as usual. Oh I nearly forgot, the Black Pheasant was also seen here briefly as it flew up in panic from the riverside and landed heavily in the marsh. Over on the east scrub I checked the one or two remaining pieces of refugia and found four Slow Worms basking in the warmth under one of them. Apart from Chiffys and the now plentiful Blackcaps there was nothing more to be seen here, so I had a quick look in the stream along the southern edge of the west scrub where I found two Water Voles, things are looking up I think. I just wish I could have got a picture of one. I also wish I could have got a picture of my next find which was a Whitethroat (84), the first of the year at NH and hopefully the first of many more. The last find here was Ken Browne from Halling, who I also didn't get a picture of!
I couldn't resist posting the above shot of a female Chaffinch who was either nest building or has got a serious facial hair problem. Or maybe she just wants to remain incognito.
Forty one species made the notebook today, every one of them enjoyable, but some a bit more welcome than others due to their long absence. Three were new additions to the New Hythe year list making a total of 84 species so far and a further nine were also new for April bringing that total to 50. It doesn't get much better than that. Except it did.
When I got home I stood at the patio doors for a few minutes watching the garden activity when a single Swan came low over the lake and over my garden, nothing unusual in that, except it was a Whooper Swan. I believe that it was the juvenile that was reported a couple of times last week, it's plumage didn't look white enough for the adult which has made it's home on the Tesco lake. But I can't be 100% sure and there's no guarantee that the juvenile is a wild bird either, but it was a Whooper and i'll settle for that as a dodgy, 'from the garden' tick. The only butterflies seen on what was at times a cool and overcast morning were a Comma and the Peacock on Blackthorn pictured at the top of the post