It’s been quite a while since I posted a blog but Spring is upon us again, hope springs eternal and we can all eagerly await what this year’s migration might bring. In reality, not much has happened as yet (it’s only mid March) but sunshine and daffodils raise expectations and even more so does birdsong. I’ve spent a lifetime birding and have heard the sounds of many species around the world but I think I’m not alone in regarding that of the blackbird as being the most delightful. It’s pure musical phrases lack some of the power of the nightingale but they have a sweeter and happier feel. It helps, of course, that you can usually watch the male bird deliver that song from out of his golden beak while he perched on an exposed treetop or roof.
There are plenty of other species joining the Spring choir at the moment. The chaffinches are probably the noisiest in my garden but robins are piping up everywhere and I have listened to the distinctive song of the woodlark while having a morning cuppa outside the house.
🦅As for sightings of Spring migrants, I have found one stone curlew/thick-knee trying to hide in themiddle of a field, several chiffchaff and blackcaps and quite a few black redstarts. All of the last three species can winter in Charente but not in the numbers which are around at present.
🦅From elsewhere in the department there have been a few reports of sand martins, hoopoes, black kites and a smattering of wildfowl and waders including pintail, garganey and avocet....but then you need to be near wetland to find such delights. Sadly, the river valleys are not in flood at the moment.
🦅My most interesting bird this week was a beautiful male zitting cisticola (ex fan tailed warbler) which was singing on top of low vegetation by the side of The Bandiat near Agris. He was close enough for a great photo but I stupidly had left my camera behind.
It’s a bit late for me to fill in any highlights of the period since my last post but top of the list must be the amazing wallcreeper inside a ruined tower of the chateau near Confolens.