We visited two areas of the north side where we saw seven birds at the first location, two of which were seen in extremely marginal habitat. Some birds were already paired up. While the Little Grebes were being very vocal on the pond, a pair of Buzzards soared overhead with two Red Kite also present.
Moving along to the large car park, we did a circular walk seeing another four Dartfords, one carrying a ring (in an area that we've not ringed in). GPS data was recorded to be passed on to trust staff. We also had three Reed Bunting and a Woodlark was singing, advertising its territory to all.
Our work last year identified many more breeding pairs than the staff had known about. Population density of Dartford Warblers appears to remain quite high after the main winter period, since three of the eleven birds were in less than ideal habitat where we would not usually have expected to see them. This is probably happening as birds seek out suitable territories and compete amongst themselves for space.
All schedule one authorisations are in place, ready for our attempts to collect data on the common over the coming months.