I caught a glimpse of a wheatear in Charente Maritime a couple of weeks back but I had to wait until today to see any on my own doorstep - two males in fact, feeding busily on a ploughed field near the eoliens. More so than swallows, cuckoos or even snowdrops, the arrival of wheatears always creates for me the illusion that things are still alright with the world and that the cycle continues.
The most plentiful migrant today, though, was the swallow with dozens about in several locations including the Bandiat where they were accompanied by a single sand martin, six green sandpipers and three redshanks.
Closely following the swallow in terms of numbers was the meadow pipit; with dozens on the Lairiere plains alone. There are also far more blackcaps around than on previous days and chiffchaffs are plentiful.
The first bird that I heard this morning was a cuckoo and I heard another at the Bandiat which has slightly expanded it's flooded area after the recent rain.
A scan of all the bare earth fields on the plains failed to reveal last week's stone curlew.
A minor 'first' today was the sight of a buzzard landing briefly on my lawn!