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The first Whitethroats!!!

I wandered into the scrub and grassland next to the lake.  Blackcaps, Wrens, Dunnocks and a lone Blackbird were all singing loudly and clearly as the sun began to rise above the eastern horizon.  But there, amongst the throng of activity was that bright, perky, scratchy, and humbling sound of the Common Whitethroat – they have returned from Africa!!

Dawn
Dawn

The 17th April marks the latest arrival date I have ever recorded Whitethroat in Mote Park.  These ‘Nettle-creepers’ are normally here between the 13th and 16th, with the earliest arrival date being the 3rd April back in 2009.  But they are here now, forecasting daydreams of hot sunny days, with grasshoppers stridulating, butterflies fluttering, and bees buzzing.

Picture 692

I wondered if the first Reed or Sedge Warblers would have arrived overnight too, but not today, maybe tomorrow?!  Plus Cuckoos, when will they arrive?  Will they arrive?  After last year being the only year I have not recorded a Cuckoo in Mote Park, let’s hope that 2014 was just an anomaly, and this year they will return.

The Blackcap number have now risen to 16 birds, Chiffchaffs now at 14,  5 Goldcrests were singing, both Treecreepers and Nuthatches were very active, and it was great to hear 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers battling it out.

I have a busy weekend ahead in the north of the county, but should be able to fit in a patch visit somewhere…

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