The smaller passerine species have been churning out young birds for some weeks now, and many of the water-birds have achieved much the same. In the crow family it is the Raven that nests earliest and their broods have been out for some time now. Then it's the Rooks who aren't far behind and many of the cut haylage fields now are full of both adults and begging juveniles. About now, the majority of the Carrion Crow, Magpie, Jackdaw and Jay youngsters are fledging. Technically it is still the season of spring, but the breeding season is generally early this year so in the birds' world this season is very much summer now!
And there are birds on the move that are failed breeders which are already beginning to navigate back to safe feeding and moulting sites. Perhaps the most obvious locally is the Lapwing with quite a number of birds gently moving south for about a week or so now, and there are breeding plumage Black-headed Gulls starting to disperse from breeding areas. Other species will be involved soon, including waders such as Green Sandpiper, and in some respects it can become confusing as to which way some of these migrants are going! Failed breeding adult and juvenile Chiffchaffs will be another species that begins to move soon and those species which are single-brooded and have failed or off-loaded their offspring may soon begin their annual moult or move on to a safe place to do so.
Eleanor tried birding at some different locations today including Daventry Country Park, Borough Hill Country Park and Harlestone Heath. A single pair of Spotted Flycatcher was located at all three sites but apart from this Eleanor assures me she can't think of any other out of the ordinary birds out there! At least one Willow Tit was along the Brampton Valley Way below Hanging Houghton at lunch-time.