23rd: catching up with summer visitors at Ham Wall. Three garganey, cuckoo, hobby, whitethroat, reed warbler present, along with a spotted redshank in summer plumage, bittern and a red kite. Male marsh harrier below.
We spent Easter in Cornwall. Birds included willow warbler singing and long-tailed tit in Trewyn gardens, up to 6 Sandwich terns in the bay, and a great northern diver from the Island. Willow warblers and wheatears were on Rosewall Hill (9th), and herring gull W195 was in the harbour on 13th.
Storm Noa arrived on 12th, bringing 70 mph gusts to The Island. Over 250 Manx shearwaters passed each minute. and I photographed some slope soaring in front of the crashing waves.
The 7th was a memorable day, with great weather, and I first ecycled to the Hayle Estuary to get good views of the first-winter Bonaparte's gull there.
In flight with Mediterranean, black-headed and a herring gull (in top photo).
With a first-winter black-headed gull.
A photogenic redshank was also present.
There was a great display of primroses in Lelant churchyard.
In the late afternoon I watched a wheatear on the Island, and waited as it approached me.
At one point it caught a mining bee Andrena sp.
A female wheatear was also present, and I photographed rock pipit and a house sparrow too.
I'd been aware of an Alpine swift in the area, and missed it on three occasions. I thought any in the area might roost in the tower on St Ia's church, so kept an eye on it.
The first morning, two sand martins flew past the window to tease me. Then on the evening of 7th, I saw 2 Alpine swifts from the studio as we were eating dinner. The light was not great for photos, but I managed a few record shots. Soon before 20.00h one bird settled on the church exterior briefly (last photo), and I thought they may have roosted in the church. A local birder saw one leave the following morning.
3rd.Some fleeting views of peregrines in the gorge. Jackdaws are busy building nests, and several chiffchaffs singing.
2nd. I checked out the peregrines in the gorge. One bird (tiercel?) brought in a kill to a rock crag to a second bird with an orange colour ring on its left leg.
Some glory-of-the-snow Scilla forbesii is growing at the peregrine watch point.