Burnt Mill Farm was quiet with only 2 Wheatear, a single Corn Bunting and a few Swallow bombing around. A single Grey Partridge was mooching around in the back fields, and a few Common Buzzard floated around, but otherwise it felt decidedly un-Spring like. Moving down to the bridge on Carr Lane a Whitethroat was singing from the scrub between Carr Lane Pools and Great Boar Wood, my first of the year. I spent a long time checking the hedges for the Redstart with no success. A male Peregrine soared over Carr Lane Pools scattering all of the birds, including 1 Little Ringed Plover, 5 Black Tailed Godwit, 1 Snipe and 60+ Wagtails (a mix of Yellow, Pied and White).
Hale Marsh held loads of Meadow Pipit and Skylark, but not much else. I was about to give up and move on when I heard a loud tchacking coming from the direction of the decoy. I quickly picked up a male Ring Ouzel as it flew north-west over my head towards Great Boar Wood and Burnt Mill Farm. An unexpected bonus, and my second of the year. Walking back to my car there was a sudden influx of hirundines, with about 40 Sand Martin, 20 Swallow and 2 House Martin.
Within Way was quiet with little in the hedgerows or fields. The finches around the farm are still quite impressive with at least 7 Lesser Redpoll (including this rather pale individual above - sadly only a Lesser), 12 Siskin and a mix of Linnets, Goldfinch and Greenfinch. There were next to no migrants, with singles of Chiffchaff and Blackcap providing the only reminder of Spring.
A return visit to the bridge on Carr Lane and I finally picked up a singing Sedge Warbler, but despite another thorough look I failed to pick up the Redstart (which was subsequently seen half an hour later by Ian Igglesden and Sean O'Hara.....DOH!!). Oh well, at least it's still around, hopefully it'll stick long enough for me to catch up with it.....