Sunday, 18 September 2011

Not too late for a swift one

Given the calm conditions I thought I'd get out early and try clocking some visible migration.

The passerine movement had several lulls when dark cloud thickened, but in blue or broken skies there were some good pulses.

Between 0730 and 1130 the following flew over the estuary, mostly heading SE:

meadow pipit  535
swallow          315
swift                  1
skylark             28
siskin                20+
alba wagtail      30
grey wag            4
linnet                  4
goldfinch            7
chaffinch           10
jackdaw             3
reed bunting       2

The swift (lovingly pictured above) was pleasingly late in the year. It coincided with the heaviest swallow movement (280 SE in half an hour from 0840h).

The hedgerows were quiet-- perhaps understandably given the songbird exodus weather overnight, but two restless flocks of blackbird (8 and 7) and a coal tit were clear signs of Autumn, as was an acorn-bearing jay.

Long-tailed tits were also prominent.

Wader-wise, a bar-tailed godwit with a mangled leg (pictured), 30 dunlins and 15 golden plovers were the best I could muster. DH

The Majestic Meadow Pipit


Migrating Skylarks


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