Friday, 5 September 2014

Acro Batty


Dan again, reporting on another morning visit with one eye on the bushes and another on the sky.

A long-billed warbler clambering around treetops dwarfing a couple of Chiffchaffs had my pulse racing early on, till I got better views and saw it was just a Reed Warbler.

It flitted into a more photo-accessible elder where I got this snap which shows that it had been fitted with a ring.

Twenty minutes went by and I was looking at a second RW foraging in some thistles close to the maize fields. Later Mr. Carter had this or a third bird near the sea of not-so-sweetcorn (I've sampled it). No doubt the reed-alike maize cover is what has been attracting these night migrants.

Who knows what might be lurking in there? Perhaps Mr. Draper would like to come down with some nets. I'll assist!

Though hardly super-exciting, the Reed Warblers (which are fairly scarce here and do not breed) nevertheless show that passerines are on the move and that Aldcliffe can pull them in.

Two or three (late-ish?) juv Sedge Warblers were also encountered, but warbler numbers seemed down on yesterday with 18 Chiffchaffs, 2-3 Lesser & one Common Whitethroat, a Willow Warbler and 4 Goldcrests noted.

Songbird numbers seemed lower in general, with far fewer Robins, tits and finches at large.

Visible migration was more steady than yesterday but hardly heavy, with c30 per hour of Meadow Pipits (mainly SE) and 4 southbound Grey Wagtails early on. Later a further three GLs dropped in to the flood for a short time and 3 were also noted at the more regular haunt of the sewage works.

A flock of five Skylarks headed E, but they seemed a little early in the morning and a little too low in the air for bona fide migrants.

The soft sounds of House Martins were heard at times but when I found them they were very high and somewhat directionless-- so whether it was a leisurely exodus or local birds (or both) was unclear.

In the miscellaneous bracket today were two Jays moving back and forth along Dawsons Bank-- perhaps caching acorns, two Kestrels, a Kingfisher and a lone Green Sandpiper.

This Sparrowhawk paused for a photo... it too seemed to be lamenting the paucity of tasty migrants


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