Sunday, April 22, 2012

Weeks Summary

More Sedge Warbler Today!
Although the weather has been challenging over the previous week we finally have a decent spring migration on our hands. Personally the past seven days have been very productive for me, recording some excellent local arrivals and passage birds: Arctic Tern, Greenshank, Yellow Wagtail, Wheatear, Pied Flycatcher, ♂♀Common Redstart, Grasshopper Warbler, Garden Warbler and the cherry on the cake, when along with Alban and Chris, we located the first Nightingale at Brandon Marsh since 2007.

This mornings visit to Brandon added my first Lesser Whitethroat of the year to my spring list, when firstly one was heard in the early morning near the Sheepfield Gorse area, and on a return visit later in the morning a second bird had arrived. This means that I've now happily recorded all the regular Brandon summer warblers.  The Nightingale was still on site but very illusive but to be honest I spent little time this morning trying to relocate.

Yellow Wagtail @ Draycote Water
More Grasshopper Warbler and Sedge Warbler have now arrived but personally I'm a little concerned regarding Brandon's Common Tern population. A normal summer breeding bird at Brandon there were none to be found on site today during my visit, although 3 were seen yesterday they don't appear to have hung around and are most likely passage birds. The Cuckoo which arrived over a week ago looks to be a Brandon regular. As you would expect with the current weather conditions very few Butterflies were recorded last week.

Savannah Sparrow - A taste of Canada
Finally, I can't believe that its less than two weeks before Dee and I return to Canada and we spent this afternoon finalising our route. This year the plan is to set off once again from Calgary, where we'll spend a day at the excellent Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. After reacquainting ourselves with our RV the plan is to make our way into Banff National Park for a few days, moving on to Radium Hot Springs and Golden. From here the route takes us south towards the US border and then north-westerly taking in the famous Okanagan region. This area is a major migration hotspot and part of the famous Pacific Flyway, a springtime route of travel for migratory birds in the America’s, extending from Patagonia at the southern end of South America northwards to Alaska.