One of these places had me watching a pair of Crossbills drinking from a puddle at the side of the road. A great start!
I moved on and parked at an area I have been to often. The area has Dipper and Grey Wagtail on the river nearby most of the year. You can add another half a dozen species or more at this time of year though. With Swallows, House Martins, Willow Warbler, Blackcap and Chiffchaff to name a few. I was lucky enough to hear and see a Common Redstart just behind me, and on a short walk I picked out a lovely male Pied Flycatcher. A Cuckoo was calling not far away, but it never revealed itself, much to my annoyance. It sounded so close too.
Male Redstart making sure he's heard high up.
Male Pied Flycatcher, again high up and too far away.
I did find, (and I really wasn't expecting to) a pair of Spotted Flycatchers. They were likely to be new in to the area, and they were busy doing what Flycatchers do, but also perching nicely now and again. I kept my eye on them and I think they were checking possible residences, which would be great news. They made my early morning get more than worhtwhile.
The pair together.