Bird News: April 2024

An early House Martin was over Derham Park on the 4th and on the same day four Lapwings were on the Wemberham maize stubble field with around 20 Linnets nearby. There was lots of song on the Strawberry Line including two Willow Warblers and a pair of Kestrels were together on Congresbury Moor. There must have been.a ‘fall’ of Willow Warblers the next day as there were three singing around Wemberham Lane. The overnight rain had no doubt forced them down to feed up and resume their migration north.

Two Swallows were over Wemberham Lane on the 6th, a day on which lots of migrants passed over or rested in our region. In particular a singing Cirl Bunting  at Sand Point was the first record for the old county of Avon (the recording area) since 1991. Cirl Buntings used to nest locally, might they make a comeback? The first Reed Warblers were heard along the Strawberry Line on the 8th and there were at least six Willow Warblers there, easily a record since the YACWAG surveys started in 1999.

A week later and the Willow Warblers seemed to have moved on, they rarely nest in Yatton and Congresbury now, but Reed Warblers and a couple of Lesser Whitethroats were singing by the Strawberry Line and Wemberham Lane. It’s always a real pleasure to hear these tiny birds which have travelled here from South Africa and Ethiopia respectively . A record eight Cetti’s Warblers were singing on the Yatton section of the Strawberry Line on the 14th and the count there on the 17th produced six of the seven summer warblers plus a passage Willow Warbler.

By the 21st House Martins were over Chestnut Park and a few Swallows had arrived at their nesting territories while Starlings were collecting food on the pasture for their young in the roof spaces of Yatton. The second Littlewood survey (25th) produced plenty of singing Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps, a single Willow Warbler and a female Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Whimbrel near Clevedon by Jon Thobroe

The sea wall area around Clevedon saw an array of passage birds during the month notably Whimbrel, Bar Tailed Godwits and Common Sandpipers. Green Sandpipers and Wheatears were noted by the local farmer on Kenn and Nailsea Moors.

Finally Mark went to see a Black Eyed Junco, an American ‘sparrow’ feeding in a garden in Gillingham, Dorset.

As always, your bird sightings and pictures are very welcome to the email address:

Trevor Riddle