Tuesday, 7 October 2014

A Bit Of Migration Action

First of all I apologise for my 'radio silence' of late but I had to return home to the family in the Emerald Isle for the funeral of a favourite Auntie and Godmother. It took a few days and hence no outings for me to the Obs.

I only had an hour or so to spare this morning before a morning of arranging site visits so I headed up to the Obs. At first I thought it was going to be a vis morning (it was later when I was back home) but during the five minute drive from my house I could see the cloud building so I decided to try a couple of migrant spots along the coast within the recording area.

At first it seemed quiet but as the light increased it was obvious that there was a bit of migration action going on. Grounded birds included ten Robins, four Goldcrests, nine Blue Tits, six Great Tits and a Great Spotted Woodpecker.

 Blue Tit

Robin in the gloom

There was also a few Thrushes about and I had six Blackbirds grounded and these were joined by a further two and three Song Thrushes that dropped out of the sky. Shortly after that two Song Thrushes from a different patch of scrub climbed in to the sky and headed south. A number of the Blackbirds and several Dunnocks were very agitated and were 'fidgeting' at the top of the trees, a sure sign of migrant individuals.

 Thrush habitat

The vis would pick up later when I was back indoors but I got a phone call from Ian saying that there were good numbers of Meadow Pipits, Skylarks and Alba Wagtails coming low in off the sea. Birds were obviously heading south at sea cutting across Morecambe and then Liverpool Bay, and hitting the rain front coming in from the south, and then heading east to make landfall on the coast. Interestingly over the Mull of Galloway today were 1,918 Skylarks, 3,031 Meadow Pipits, 203 Alba Wags and 784 Linnets in just three hours!

The vis when I was out was very slow and as I was 'bush bashing' all I recorded were three Chaffinches, three Grey Wagtails, 14 Starlings, seven Meadow Pipits, three Goldfinches, six Carrion Crows, 15 Jackdaws and an Alba Wag.

The only raptors I had were a male and female Sparrowhawk at different locations and it was hard to tell whether they were migrants or not. I've got a couple of days of site visits coming up before I can get out proper birding again, although I will be out in the field keeping my eyes and ears open.

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