Friday, 21 April 2017

Montague's Harrier, Whinchats and Stone Curlew

I know that I should be calling a stone curlew a thick knee but I think the old name sounds better. Anyway, I saw my first of the year yesterday. It was wandering around on the nearby skyline not far from the turbines. There was no sign of a partner but I hope one turns up as there is usually at least one breeding pair up there. There is not much bare ground for them to settle on this year though as a good proportion of the plains is already taken up with well advanced winter wheat. One would like to think that this might lure the bustards back.
In the same area and fighting against the stiff NE breeze which has been spoiling the sunny days for over a week, was a hunting male montague's harrier, a summer visitor which I failed th catch sight of last year.
The whinchats in their fresh plumage were a delight to see as they perched very obligingly along an electric fence line at the bio farm.
Back at La Poterie a hoopoe has been calling from somewhere in the village and a nightingale is singing by the pond. Serin, firecrest, blackcap and whitethroat are all singing in the garden itself while blackbird, robin, black redstart, wood pigeon, greenfinch, house sparrows, starlings, tits and kestrels are already nest-building or feeding young.

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