I'll get this started with some birdie stuff from yesterday. The 27th May and I finally see my first Common Swifts, of 2023, over the garden. I had seen them down at the Carp Puddle earlier in the week but, this is by far the latest date for the Newlands Farm area. It was a little after mid-day when a lone Herring Gull alerted me to the approach of a raptor, high and from the south. My first impression was it was a Red Kite, as it flew directly towards me, flat wings and using the tail as a rudder. As it came closer it became obvious that it wasn't a kite, but a Buzzard sp. Fortunately the camera was close to hand and I managed to secure an image that confirmed my suspicions. A Honey Buzzard and the first Spring record in twenty-three years of living here.
So I was back outside, early this morning, hoping to get a chance of a Common Swift photo, or two. Didn't happen. Instead, just after 09.00 hrs a Bee-eater called, unseen, several times as it passed to the south of where I was stood. It seems crazy that I've seen, and heard, thousands of these birds in the last couple of weeks, yet was still so excited by this "patch tick" as to go running indoors to tell Bev as soon as it had happened. Just before 10.00 hrs a male Marsh Harrier passed over the garden, deliberately moving high and eastward bound. Patch birding - you've got to love it!