The day got off to a good start as, no sooner had I got outside and set up my chair, the first garden Swallow for the year flew east, singing as it went.
A short while later an unmistakeable call alerted me to a Raven approaching from the direction of Blackheath. It then proceeded to soar over the garden for a couple of minutes along with the first Red Kite of the day before the two birds parted company and the Raven flew off high north. Only about my fifth garden record of this species.
|Raven and Red Kite|
Singles of Kestrel and Sparrowhawk completed the raptor tally for the day - sadly there wasn't to be another Osprey after the one which flew west yesterday afternoon!
Aside from a few Redpolls and Meadow Pipits over, things went rather quiet on the skywatching front in the middle of the day - not least because we were enjoying the company of some visiting family members - but my first garden Blackcap of the year was nice to hear. We were also treated to an unexpected flypast from two Apache gunships and a Chinook!
There was plenty of non-bird excitement too, with my first Holly Blue and Orange-tip for the year of particular note amongst regular flypasts of Brimstone, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell and Red Admiral. A Bee-fly made a brief appearance in the herb border at one point as did Common Carder Bee and Tree Bumblebee.
All in all, not a bad day considering I spent most of it sitting in one spot and, as the saying goes, tomorrow is another day!