It’s a funny old world when the tilting basic greatest hit (!) of a Chiffchaff starts to make a welcome change from the wall to wall Whitethroat/Willow Warbler dune soundtrack, but there you go.
In some years there are more Chiffies singing in the dunes, pushing up from the south, well past the historically agreed Ince Blundell Woods Willow/Chiff demarcation border (north of here Willow Warblers used to always outnumber the southern Chiffies until just a few years ago).
In 2018 the stubby-winged summering Chiffies almost outnumbered Willow Warblers in the dunes.
Not this year – there are Willow Warblers everywhere, and what was once a fresh and eagerly sought out song just a few weeks back is now a constant (albeit nice) overly familiar loop.
Whitethroats are beginning to sound annoying too – a sure sign the season is creeping on.
It was my own fault for getting into the dunes for my Ainsdale site visit late today – the place always starts to quieten down after 9am, but there were still two, possibly three Lesser Whitethroats singing at 10am.
I reckon one bird was the individual we’d watched rattling away by the office on Thursday morning.
One about a quarter of a mile from here this morning felt “new”, and although distant it sat out in the sun for awhile, its undercrackers bleached a shocking white in the glare.
A Cuckoo slipped quietly south through the hot air, with just a single Mipit in pursuit – the female I’d seen a few days ago perhaps?
The butterfly dynamic is rapidly changing as well – a few days back Wall Browns were the most abundant on the wing, now a big emergence of Common Blues, like elevated and energised Heath Dog Violets, have superceded them and Small Heaths are out too.
Along with many other birders I have my fingers crossed that the cold front sweeping down tonight and tomorrow may bring a few new birds in – spring has plenty more cards to play before it hands over to summer yet.
As ever, thanks for all the comments and support, keep letting me know what you’re seeing too…