With a month of sunshine (in the main) we have begun to see a slow return of migratory species and an increase in butterflies also.
Black Kite ( Milan noir) – first individual flew over the garden on 23 rd
Chiffchaffs (Pouillot véloce) – began singing again on 19 th
Cetti's Warbler (Buscarle de Cettti) also singing on the same day
Swallows (Hirondelle rustique) are chattering away outside the window as I type – first sighting on 24 th
House Martin (Hirondelle de fenêtre) – one seen hunting above a marshland on 26 th
Grey Heron (Héron cendré) – sitting in nest (eggs or chick?) in our local heronry on 22 nd (There was a sizeable chick standing upright on one of the nests on 14 th April last year)
Cirl Buntings (Bruant zizi) have been very vocal as have the Woodlarks (Allouette lulu) – possibly my favourite songster and Skylark (Allouette des champs)
Hoopoe (Huppe fasciée) – first of the year seen on 29 th
Sand Martin (Hirondelle de rivage) – huge flocks into the hundreds over the marshes on 29 th
Great White Egret (Grande Aigrette) – simply standing in a field along the road to Nivillac on 29 th
Tawny Owls (Chouette-hulotte) – calling from a tree at the end of the garden on night of 30 th
White Storks (Cygogne blanche) – are back in their breeding area, 30 mins drive from us. On 29 th we counted 11 individuals, with 7 of the nests re-occupied.
Marsh Harrier (Busard des roseaux) – several seen hunting on the plains near home and in the marshes.
Yellow Wagtail (Bergeronette printanière) – seen on 29 th in the marshes
Blackcap (Fauvette à tête noire) – singing in the garden on 30 th
Spoonbill (Spatule) – a flock of 9 flew over the marshes on 29 th