Its all change time at Moor Green Lakes. The last of the winter visitors are leaving and the first of the summer visitors are arriving. Last week RINGED and LITTLE RINGED PLOVERS arrived, along with a WHEATEAR, whilst CHIFFCHAFFS have been there for a couple of weeks. Today, 28th March, I heard and saw my first BLACKCAP of the year, a male, who was busy feeding. Every now and again he would give a much shortened version of his song and then return to feed and build up his strength, so that in a week or so he will give the full version of his song some real welly. Gordon and I were accompanied on todays trip around Moor Green by Claire, his daughter, a very pleasant young lady, who is quite knowledgable about birds and is much nicer to look at than Gordon. I did think that with all of the fantastic weather we have had this past week, that perhaps more summer visitors would have arrived, but perhaps they are holding back, because they know something about the weather that we don't.
On Monday 27th February, Gordon and I went to Lakeside Country Park at Eastleigh, which is situated directly opposite Southampton Airport, to try to find the Hawfinches that had been seen there. On arrival we parked up and walked a short distance to an area behind the miniature steam railway station, which we believed to be the general area where they had been seen. We had a good look around and found plenty of Goldfinch and Greenfinch, but no Hawfinch. After completing a lap of the area we headed back to the rear of the railway station to scan the trees again. I found another Goldfinch perched at the top of a Silver Birch and took my eye away from the scope to speak to Gordon and when I looked through it again there was a male HAWFINCH perched nearby. Gordon and I then found another three in the same tree and we had decent views of the birds. After about fifteen minutes or so they took off, but were joined by another five HAWFINCH that must have been in another tree nearby but not seen by us. All nine birds then flew around the immediate area in a circle and then headed off towards some trees away from us where they were lost from sight. These were the first HAWFINCH that Gordon and myself had seen and we were surprised by the size of their bill because before our trip we had looked at illustrations in 'Collins Birdguide'. So very content with seeing the HAWFINCH, we left Lakeside and travelled to Mudeford Quay and Keyhaven/Pennington, where we spent the rest of the day.
Hi, I'm Roger Milligan. I have been interested in birds since I was a boy growing up in south east London, which was a long time ago. I now live in Farnborough, Hampshire.