With a westerly wind, gusting 40 mph at times, this morning I headed off for a quick scan of Newlands in a vain search for that first Wheatear of the Spring. All I discovered, for my limited effort, was a lone Meadow Pipit and five Sky Larks! Once back in the comfort of my study, hot coffee to hand, I was able to spent a while watching the feeding station and enjoying the antics of the regular visitors. I suddenly became aware of a Chiffchaff feeding low down in the Dog Rose at the bottom of our garden. Too good an opportunity to pass by, I grabbed my camera and crept outside. With a bit of stealth and a great deal more good fortune, I was able to get some decent images of this individual and it is clearly a newly arrived migrant as demonstrated by the pollen encrustation on its' forehead. I believe it to be Portland Bird Observatory that were behind the research effort which revealed that this "pollen horn" was made up of Eucalyptus and Citrus pollen which would have origins in North Africa, Portugal and Spain. It is because of that type of really interesting science garden birding is such a rewarding way of enjoying these encounters. All that way from Africa just to spend time in my garden, en route to its' final destination. Who knows where?
|What a joy to be able to spend time watching this long-distance traveller|