Our Tuesday group met at Upton Country Park this morning for a woodland walk and listening to the spring birdsong. In the car park we heard a Goldcrest singing so a good start and soon we had Great and Blue Tit, and a smart little Coal Tit put in an appearance. As you would expect we also had Chaffinch, Robin and Blackbird and tucked down in a grassy field were a pair of Mallards.
We could hear the calls of Nuthatch and eventually we found a pair very busy looking for food on some mossy branches. A Blackcap started singing but it was hidden away in a patch of dead foliage and we just listened to him for a while until he popped out briefly before flying across the path to start singing again. A Great Spotted Woodpecker gave it's little "chipping" call, then Kate spied a small bird and called our attention to it, it was Jess that was able to get a good view and confirm it was a Firecrest. Such a beautiful little bird and always a joy to see, though as usual it was flitting so much it was hard to keep up with.
Further on I could hear a distant Willow Warbler singing, then Jess picked out a small warbler almost at eye level, however this was a Chiffchaff. At first it gave a very quiet "wheet" almost under it's breath, we had such close views then as we moved on, it chose that moment to start singing it's usual "chiff chaff" song and we did later see a Willow Warbler.
As we looked over Holes Bay on a very low tide there were not that many birds to be seen, though we did have Curlew, Oystercatcher and Shelducks and a small flock of Teal flew in. We could hear Mediterranean Gulls calling overhead and then we found some roosting with Black-headed Gulls in the bay.
As we finished we came across a nice show of Lesser Celandines and a small patch of Snake-head Fritillaries.