On Saturday I went out into the sunshine as the day was beginning to warm up – a good time to see what was flying around or to hear birdsong. My intention was to see whether Woodchat Shrike or Bee-eaters had arrived or to see the rare Greater Spotted Cuckoo which I knew had been seen locally. High hopes for this bright morning were soon to be side-tracked when I heard a Common Cuckoo calling as it perched on an overhead wire. This was a good view of it but it was soon to get better. I found a vantage point and stood there waiting. There was a fir tree about seven metres away into which a Cuckoo flew, it soon disappeared but provided me with a good view. Around me I could hear a Sardinian Warbler rattling away, a Green Woodpecker with its distinctive ‘yaffle’ call and all the time the Cuckoo kept calling. High in the sky I could hear some faint burbling which I thought could only be a Bee-eater. I was able to confirm this when I found one in my binoculars. They are here but this one may be passing through to a more northerly location. I will keep looking for them. Last year Sand Martins had arrived in San Miguel, at their nesting sites, by the end of February but so far I have not seen one at any of the four places that I have known them to frequent. What is going on? Has there been a disaster for them in Africa? I hope not.
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