Lockdown - Ups and Downs

The weather changed.  We lost the warm cloudless sunny days and made way for April showers.  It didn't stop me from heading out in the belting rain.  And as faithful as the fluctuations of the British climate, eight Northern Wheatear remained on the airfield with two of the males showing characteristics of the 'Greenland' race.

With two Yellow Wagtail and a Lesser Whitethroat, it didn't feel any different birdwise.

The deluge of the day before had passed but the 29th dawned grey with a slight change in temperature.

Eight Wheatear remained on the airfield, two Yellow Wagtail and two Lesser Whitethroat really helped maintain the feeling that everyday was the same.  These have now become daily sightings.

Great Spotted Woodpecker flew across farmland toward the woodland, and a single House Martin hurtled through on the walk back.

April made way for May.  A forced trip to Croxley on the 1st meant that a quick walk round the moor was inevitable.  Three Reed Warbler brightened things up as I dodged the showers.  A Kingfisher flew along the Grand Union Canal and a bonus Cuckoo flying through woodland along the A1 on the drive back was a real cuck-oo.

It began to warm up again and the weather had improved.  The local area looks fabulous in this weather.  Eight Wheatear were seen once again with five on the airfield and three along the Icknield Way.  Again, a couple of gaudy heavy-set males looked Greenland-y.

Male Whinchat in Spring are crackerjack birds so two (a male and a female) on the airfield held my gaze for a while as I watched them feed along the margins, but always a bit too distance for full effect.  A pair of Lapwing appear to have settled to breed in fields towards Wallington.

The bike was back on the road again and it really is the best way to scoot around the local area.  First stop was Radwell Lake where a pair of Grey Wagtail were present there.  Eight Swallow and a House Martin were active over the barns at Nortonbury.

Five Wheatear remained on the airfield.

Wheatear numbers started to diminish.  We were down to four on the 3rd.  A Grey Partridge tried in vain to hide its presence along the Wallington Road.

By the 4th, only a single male Wheatear remained on the airfield and by the 5th, the airfield was bereft of any birds.  What is supposed to be a private area has now been claimed by dog walkers.  No surprise there.

With work now in full swing, the 6th was a home day but that didn't prevent regular breaks on the balcony.  Swift have arrived now in decent numbers and a group of around 30 in the morning was a warming sight.  Two Peregrine thermalled over the town heading north again.

The next few days are looking great weatherwise - it will definitely be eyes to the skies.


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