First Wheatear (female) - oenanthe oenanthe
Our House Martin nests are fully occupied, male birds are coming and going constantly to keep the females fed in the nests. Swallows and swifts are back. This week I heard bee-eaters for the first time, saw my first Northern Wheatear this morning and a Common Redstart yesterday. A pair of Short-toed Eagles have been circling our location for a couple of weeks now and Booted Eagles are regular visitors. We have seen Dunnocks below our terrace and a friend photographed this Subalpine Warbler this week. So why am I feeling that spring has not quite sprung yet, at least in birding terms? Well there are just not the numbers of birds around that one would expect in late March. The countryside should be ringing with birdsong, we should be seeing more waders and herons, little brown jobs are generally scarce and apart from an abundance of Woodchat Shrikes there is very little new bird activity to report. It must be the weather. Rain, wind, cooler seasonal temperatures and more cloud cover than usual has perhaps kept them away. Hopefully once Easter is over and done with the weather will improve and the birds will be back in abundance. Fingers crossed.