I forgot to mention that I picked up two House Martin on Wednesday from the kitchen, six days earlier than last year. Back at work since Thursday so unsure if they have hung around or others have joined them.
Today I got up to Alnmouth fifteen minutes early so I decided to have a quick walk along the bottom of 'Bracken Hill' or the edge of Alnmouth Common. Lots of scrub Hawthorn & Bramble just 50yards from the beach. It was lifting with warblers this morning, four species in fifteen minutes, Common Chiffchaff singing from some of the taller trees, Willow Warblers on every bush. I caught a brief snatch of a reeling Grasshopper Warbler but frustratingly it stopped after two seconds. I moved on a little and heard a churr from a bramble ahead, looked up and Willow Warbler. Scanning toward the sea, there it was again, I turned back, waited, again Willow Warbler, then as if taunting me 'Whatyouseeis whatyouget' from within the bush the Common Whitethroat I'd thought was there all along decided to let loose with it's scratchy song. I always think Whitethroat song fits that little phrase WYSIWYG, and makes it memorable.
I hung around and eventually it zipped up looking fresh as a daisy and shot off further along the hillside singing as it went. The Grasshopper Warbler had started reeling again although I didn't have time to locate it as it had moved a little uphill to a larger area of brambles.
Grasshopper Warbler courtesy & copyright Mark Mowbray
Common Whitethroat courtesy & copyright Pedro Henriques