Rain, hail, sleet, snow, sunshine,warmth and bitterly cold seems to sum up the April weather. Even so most of our regular migrants have arrived and in good numbers. The first Pied Flycatcher arrived on the 8th which caused me to be "red-lined" on Bird Track for "out of normal date". Mind you, this is a good week earlier than arrival 15 years ago. Perhaps the BTO will alter expected arrival dates in light of changing patterns. Females also arrived and both are busy visiting nest boxes, even those already taken. They do have a propensity to take over otherwise "taken" boxes and there are a couple of males visiting the boxes in the garden.
I have not yet taken a full count of numbers but Willow Warbler numbers seem to be higher than any previous year. Blackcap, Garden Warbler, Wood Warbler, Redstart and Tree Pipit have all arrived and most can be heard from the garden. Swallows have been around but have just taken up residence in the workshop where they nest every year. The House Martins have yet to make an appearance. Linnet are back and there is a large flock feeding on the dandelions in the hay meadows.
There is a large number of Siskin around this year. Either they had a very good season last year or they have lost habitat elsewhere. It will be interesting to see how many young appear as they do nest in the spruce and Douglas fir. Redpoll are around feeding in the larches but I expect they shall return to the Hafren Forest to nest.
The Ravens are now feeding young as are a pair of crows that are regular garden visitors. The two in close proximity has led to quite a few scraps but they do support each other when the Buzzard appears.
Not such a good shot but he would not sit still!!