Early marston migrants

I  usually manage a sighting of a hirundine at Marston before the end of March, so, with a warm day and favourable winds forecast I was optimistic. After scanning the skies for over an hour, nowt was seen, but then I noticed five (or so I thought) kestrels, all very close together, over the fields towards Gelston hill. This was something I’d never seen before, there was a lot of interaction. I got the bins on them and watched two pairs of kestrel and a very early hobby! One or two of the kestrels were seen to ‘buzz’ at the hobby a couple of times, before it made off. After this the two kestrel pairs patrolled the airspace for at least twenty minutes. Interesting behaviour, you wouldn’t think a hobby would bother them, but birds are sensitive at breeding season and they just weren’t ‘avin’ it.

As I was about to leave the site a sand martin came through, flying northwest. More scanning from the car park then gave me a swallow. A further visit in the afternoon, and another hirundine, probably a house martin, though I only saw it very briefly, very white underneath, didn’t see rump so not sure. Around 6 chiffchaff and a blackcap were in song. 25 golden plover(towards Hough) and 33 fieldfare were on the move. 2 red kites came over.

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