Yes, I tried something different on the 4th taking a walk along Monkshill Road at Graveney. The route passed by some marsh land and then along general hedgerows, nothing special. Just birding this morning so no photos but surprised me with a pleasing count of 34 species including; blackcap, chiffchaff, grey wagtail, buzzard, little owl, mistle and song thrushes, green and grt spot.etc.. On the way home I called in by the Sportsman, a marsh harrier, stonechat but still no wheatear.
Today, (5th), I went to Broomfield woods, on the way seeing that swallows had returned to Brooklands farm again. The woods were a waste of time, no lessers or treecreeper or nuthatches so I aborted fairly quickly, perhaps I should have given it longer! Anyway I wanted to check out Wraik Hill for nightingales and of course, found none, just a couple of blackcaps and chiffchaff. One interesting thing here was a blue tit that was particularly interested in my car, continually checking the paint and chrome work and tyres, and still there when I returned to leave! Even more interesting was that he was there doing the same thing last week!!
A Speckled Wood was on the 'track' at Wraik Hill...no vegetation having grown on the mangled clearance areas yet, still strewn with dead wood etc., I hope the nightingales return! Moved on to the levels finding a stonechat, a peregrine, barn owl and a cetti's warbler plus an orange tip was along the roadside. Next stop was the Sportsman PH (not literally), I just had a quick listen to the reedbed....... no song but back along the track to the road a sedge warbler started to sing from the large bush. Another look around the huts revealed no wheatear but linnet numbers were up to 14 and a marsh harrier and kestrel were passing overhead. It was good to see lots of tortoiseshells and peacocks today, they seem to have made a good recovery.
Also back at home a red kite flew past, viewed from the garden......see them every year now!