The sound of spring was in the air at Druridge today, two or three skylarks were high in the sky, blasting out their song, a lapwing was peewiting over the fields and at long last, the first returning meadow pipit since the snow was displaying in the dunes. I'm not sure it had anything to display to mind, with no sign of any other meadow pipits, but it wasn't deterred.
This time last year, the 10th of March to be precise, I had my first wheatear of the year at Druridge. It was my earliest ever Wheatear and something like the fourth earliest County record.
There were still sounds of winter to be heard at Druridge too. A flock of about 35 twite (with a handful of linnets and eight skylarks) were amongst the cattle at the north end and overhead a huge skein of pink-footed geese came up from the Warkworth Lane area, settling in the field in front of the hamlet. There was a single Eurasian white-front in with them - bonus! My first patch white-front for over three years.
I counted the pink-feet flock and got about 2700 which isn't bad as my in-flight estimate as they flew over was 2500.
This week will hopefully bring with it some migrants, I've the day off tomorrow but will be too busy to look for migrants. We're having one last coppicing session before the breeding season. Hopefully I'll get ten minutes off for a look about.
80 meadow pipit
81 white-fronted goose