Saturday 9 May 2020

Previously on Lockdown Birding

Previously on Lockdown Birding...

Black-headed Gull finally dropped onto the from the flat window Birding Lockdown list, a couple of singles through in early May, then with a handful fly-catching early evening on another two occasions. A double tick day as the first flyby followed shortly after a Pied Wagtail undulated onto the list. On warm days, which have been plentiful, Starlings fly-catch like wannabe Bee-eaters.

The occasional Swallow with Swift regular overhead, a pair of the latter providing a backdrop to a wandering Peregrine one lunchtime. One Saturday afternoon this 'angry Parrot' flew over suburban Hertfordshire rooftops in a manner that would make a patrolling Sparrowhawk jealous. On a raptor theme Buzzards took to the skies at their choosing doing a bit of skydancing here and there, and Red Kites literally appeared out of the blue hanging and gliding against deep blue skies on a few dates.

Patch gold early one morning over breakfast as a pair of multiple obs Egyptian Geese moved north. Another mega when one Saturday evening a small bird was sat on top of the flats opposite. Turned out to be a House Sparrow. The from the flat window Birding Lockdown list stands at 44 (08 May 2020). The Sparrow's appearance was welcomed with a cheer as loud as that when I was lucky to find a Black-throated Grey Warbler several autumn's ago on the US Eastern Seaboard in Cape May!

On the wider area exercise walk Blackcap and Whitethroat compete for songster of the month in nearby scrub land where a Garden Warbler sang alongside the former. It showed for a second, quite a prolonged view for that not so boring species. Ring-necked Parakeets continue to annoy, Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers have become more secretive, a sign of getting down to nesting, and the area has a healthy population of Stock Doves and regular presence of Red-legged Partridges. My wider area Birding Lockdown list now stands at 67 (08 May 2020).

Friends report garden ticks here in the south east, always nice to hear, and raptor skywatching by a group of us every Saturday between 12 and 2pm has been good but tough of late. The deep blue skies not ideal for picking up any moving avian species. Osprey remain on our wish lists, but can we get lucky with a Honey or a Monty's in the coming Saturday's. Nowt wrong with aiming (and looking) high!

Breaking news from a correspondent at a classified location from a city beginning with the letter 'M'. What's their birding news? Give me a minute, I'll just find a pair of tweezers and a magnifying glass, let me inspect the binding of the couriered Collins guide for a message. Hope I've not blown their cover. Here's a bit of paper, what does it say?

Happy skywatching no matter how great or small your field of view may be.

Cracked the coded message?...

I think it's, "River Warblers back on territory and the same for Red-footed Falcons but no sign of Hobby. We want Homeland Series 9 - but give it a couple of years to develop a storyline!"