As I tended the garden feeders early yesterday the first sound I heard was the plaintive call of a Curlew as it drifted in to land in the field behind my house. The flock has built to forty or so and its always nice to see them return, feeding together for a couple of weeks before splitting up and becoming much harder to find when they start breeding. My House Sparrow flock was having a 'chirp in' as I left with Collared Dove and Starling accompaniment. Down Prestwick Carr road which is shut to traffic meant Skylark, Dunnock, Chaffinch, Blue Tit and Robin made for a tuneful backing track. A Blackbird flew low across the road reminding me of the loss of two females this week, who under the persistence of courtship did likewise only to be hit by the ever increasing traffic. At the corner a Song Thrush could be heard atop a tree at Curlew Cottage and two nearby Great Tits competed for the prize in monotony.
Down the bumpy road one then two then three male Reed Buntings gave their three note song only to be drowned out by the arrival of a pair of noisy Canada Geese who joined two Mute Swans on Pringles pond. In the distance I saw my first Lapwing display of the season followed shortly afterward by the descending tchee,tchee,tchee of a Meadow Pipit fluttering to ground. Magpie and Crow argued the toss over some morsel flushing a pair of Mallard from the ditch. Nearing the goats the half song of Yellowhammer became prominent backed by the chacking flock of Jackdaws with loud solo by Wren.
At the crossroads now and headed up the range track a short way because the army were again shooting as they have most days recently. The shrieking Black headed gulls shattered the calm displayed by a pair if Shelduck on the flood and a dozen or so Common Gulls bathed. Four Golden Plover called as they passed overhead as did eighty seven Fieldfare heading north and a Mistle Thrush rattled his call as a handful of Redwing landed in his favoured bush. The rich chewit calls of numerous Pied Wagtails in the nearby fields which were flushed by an overflying Grey Heron. Nearing Prestwick Mill singing Greenfinch became evident and a Coal Tit further north as I flushed a Moorhen by stepping onto the bridge. On toward the golf course the Eland rookery was audible with odd bird wheeling in the air and singing Goldfinch nearby with the phut phut of a pair of Long tailed tit emanating from a gorse bush where they appear to be nesting.
The return home was pleasant picking up a distant Kestrel, calling Buzzard, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Pheasant from the woods with overflying Linnet as I collected some Short eared Owl pellets at the side of a fence line where they had perched last week. The bleating of Teal was heard on a hidden flash in the middle of the field and as I turned for home the chur, chur of a Willow Tit capped off a two hour sojourn. That's forty six or so types and here's looking forward to that first Willow Warbler.