Friday, 29 April 2016

Bonelli's Warblers and Black Woodpecker

There is still a cool northerly breeze but the sun has been mainly out during the last few days so the thermometer is showing the upper 30's when it's not in the shade.
I went for a longish walk rather than a bike ride on Wednesday and I finally caught up with Bonelli's warblers in the woods near Goise. Their short trill is very distinctive and is invaluable in tracking them down as they prefer to forage in the canopy. Once located,though, they are quite obliging as they don't tend to move far.
Cetti's warblers have an even more distinctive song and two different individuals were making their loud noise (hardly a warble) from the damp vegetation near the Son-sonette; along with chiffs, blackcaps, whitethroats and melodious they brought the day's warbler species total to six but the reed warblers were not yet present at their usual location, I hope they arrive soon.
A big surprise on the other bank of the river, near Valence, was a black woodpecker. I first heard him call from a group of tall pines before he flew across in front of me towards the poplar plantation from where he eventually started to drum loudly. This impressive species seems to be coming much more common as I have seen several already this year.
Rather more difficult to find nowadays are the stone curlews. One was present in the on the plains near the turbines although I could not locate his partner who I had seen earlier in the week. My farming neighbour described this species to me and asked me to identify it as he had seen one close to his tractor in a different field. He was not aware that it was a rare migrant species or that it nested on the ground.
The species count for the whole walk was 46.

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