The following April birding report and photos on the bird life here in our little corner of East Devon was written by Steve Waite — thanks Steve for making this available! If you don’t know about this already, Steve has one of the best UK birding blogs on the web. Go and read it!!
April is a busy month for birds, nesting begins for most species with some already having young to feed. A preliminary breeding bird survey revealed up to 22 different species of birds breeding at the Ponds, from Mute Swan (which are now sitting on eggs) to Reed Bunting. This reflects the fantastic diversity the ponds have to offer.
Just after dawn is often the best time to hear bird song, and every morning the sound of the Song Thrush is very dominant. There are two Song Thrush territories at the Ponds, one along the northern boundary hedge, and the other in the southern boundary hedge. The males use their voice to remind the other that this is their territory and to stay well away, as both have probably got females sat on nests. Learning the different bird songs and calls brings a whole new dimension to bird watching; you are able to view the ornithological world in a completely different and much more intimate way.
Many of our summer migrants are in now, including Swallows, House Martins and even a few Swifts. The first Swifts of the spring were seen from the Ponds on 19th, and at the same time a Red Kite flew over east (see photo). Although Kites don’t breed in the county, every spring young birds are seen cruising over the south west as the adult birds push them away from breeding areas, and 2015 has been a record year for this spectacle.
(Steve Waite, April 2015)