Thursday, 13 October 2011


Given the forecast for a dry and calm morning I thought I'd get out early-ish to do a spot of vis mig. However it was almost eleven before I was out and communing with dots in the sky, but luckily there was some passerine passage until well into the afternoon.

Most were heading S.E. over my vantage on the saltmarsh edge.

1100h-1445h... in no particular order:

swallow           7
alba wagtail    11
jackdaw          7
meadow pipit  210
skylark            79
linnet               39
reed bunting     7
yellowhammer  1  S
siskin                (a few- heard only)
redwing            2   E
fieldfare            67 E
tree sparrow     2 

The yellowhammer was particularly pleasing, since this species is very scarce in this part of Lancashire. The last one seen here was a long-stayer several Autumns ago.

The first redwings and fieldfares of the season are always lovely to see and hear too. After the vis session A further 120 of the latter species dropped into the hedgerows for a minute or two before heading off, West.

Decent numbers of long-tailed tits and smaller numbers of blue and coal tits were frantically hedge-hopping South. A single chiffchaff and two goldcrests were trying to keep up.

Five blue tits, obviously wanting to crank the pace yet more, parted with their long-tailed congeners by rising in small circles to about 20 metres, before flying West across the marsh and estuary.

Wader-wise 28 dunlins, 2 black-tailed godwits 2 snipes and 160 all-European golden plovers were the pick of the waders on the 'Aldcliffe' stretch of estuary, where a rock pipit was also in evidence.

A greenshank was on the marsh, as were up to nine little egrets. Eight tree sparrows were in the yet to be harvested maize, and six gadwalls were on Freeman's Pools. A minimum of five buzzards were noted.

Now enjoy some my cropped pics of speeding specks which highlight the magical views possible while out vis-migging:

The Mighty Skylark

The Stately Reed Bunting

Fieldfare: The Wildebeest of the Heavens


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