As April got underway there was a hope of new arrivals on the patch, the weather during the month was a bit changeable but some nice sunny days and decent temperatures. It wasn't long before we encountered our first male Blackcap singing away near Woodlands. The Peregrines were seen on a few occasions over the house, at one time it was seen to make a swoop at a Kestrel that was mobbing a Common Buzzard hunting along the cliffs. During the first 3 weeks of April, Sarah and I both got a horrendous Flu virus/come chest infection/sinus problems etc etc....I have never been so bad in my life and so everything took a back seat whilst trying to get over it, thankfully I didn't really miss much except for a few Hooded Crows that headed past.
Once I did manage to get out and about I set about finding what had come into the area during my layoff. There was plenty of Fulmar activity along the cliffs, I had 7 pass me one morning, hugging the cliffs as they flew within feet of me.
Smaller birds were more numerous, quite a few Goldcrest about and definitely more Blackcap had arrived around the village and the first female seen mid month. More Swallow passed as the days progressed along with Sand and House Martin, the latter inspecting the eaves of a neighbours house already. Common Whitethroat had now moved into the area so I set about getting some images of these, but no sign of any Lesser Whitethroat at this time.
More Wheatear were passing through, I found 4 together early one morning, and normally the Yellow Wagtails I see are fly overs along the front so a distant one actually on the ground with 2 Pied Wagtails was a nice sight. As the month drew on it got busier, Chiffchaff's calling all over the place, Lesser Whitethroat's were now in and a very rewarding time started with a few new additions to the patch list and also the garden list!
By now I was checking every corvid that flew over or past the garden in the hope of connecting with a Hooded Crow, there had been quite a few moving along so I was hopeful, and sure enough on the 24th I had not 1 but 2 Hooded Crows fly over the garden....result, a tick for the Trimingham patch and best of all the garden list!
2 Days later whilst taking a tea break from my artwork, I stood in the kitchen doorway waiting for the kettle to boil, I saw a couple of crows pass behind the trees towards the cliffs, I was still checking all the crows for more Hooded in the hope of getting a photo, I noticed something behind the crows over the sea... I knew from the size it was a raptor so I ran..yes ran to the bottom of the garden to grab my bins off my camera tripod... as I focused in on the bird to my excitement I was looking at a Osprey! I couldn't believe it, so I grabbed a couple of distant record shots as it headed inland off to the southwest. To finish the day I added another Hooded Crow over the garden and a couple of Whimbrel heading east.
Well if that wasn't good enough the very next day news from Overstrand from fellow birders about the previous days Alpine Swift over their houses!! It headed east (my way!) at first but then could of moved towards Cromer as it was lost to sight as it hit the ridge that way. By now I was already in the garden and scouring the skies, it was a god awful morning with horrid weather, no wonder the Swift was on the move. Then it happened, I couldn't believe my luck.... all of a sudden I saw the Alpine Swift to the front of the house....shouting out Alpine to Sarah who was also in the garden, we watched the bird fly up and over the church opposite and head off eastwards. To say I was buzzing after the last 2 days was an understatement....you could of renamed me 'Bumblebee Lawrence'!!
I finished the month off with photographing Lesser Whitethroats.... but this was just the birds I still have the moths to add.
New additions to the Garden Moth List, Powdered Quaker, Mullein, White Point. It was a weird month with regards to numbers caught in the trap, some nights I would get just a handful and then on another I filled up the fridge with 42 pots! But the year list was increasing and with plenty more good stuff to arrive.
Red Twin-spot Carpet