Monday 8th April

Today's birds were almost identical to yesterday's with a couple of minor amendments: there was an extra OYSTERCATCHER (so now two birds) and an extra LITTLE RINGED PLOVER (so now nine). The highlight of the day was the first SAND MARTIN which zipped over the floods heading northwards. It's only about three or four weeks late which give an indication of just how late spring is this year. On that theme there are still lots of SISKINS around and they're increasingly coming to my garden feeders. Also the garden Blackcap is now singing - so lovely to hear some actual warbling again.

Even when there's not much new around to look at there's always something to learn. I recently noticed the following point in my Collins field guide. Have a look at this Ringed Plover photo (taken last year) and in particular at the tertial length in comparison to the primaries. Then compare it to the Little Ringed Plovers on the previous entry.

You should notice that the Little Ringed Plovers have relatively much longer tertials that cover the primaries whereas Ringed Plovers have the black primaries projecting beyond the brown tertials. Of course the yellow eye ring is the number one diagnostic feature and after a while you can tell them apart just on jizz anyway though it always takes me a little time each year to re-acquire that skill.

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