Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Turdus iliacus, 18th October 2008

This morning I got up late and decided to go and feed my Tree Sparrows at Moss House Farm. As I left the house just before 9.00 a.m. 24 Redwings dropped out of a cloud, circled round and headed north! B*stard I thought, as I had obviously missed part of a Thrush movement this morning. I picked up a voice mail message from my mate Phil who was at a different feeding station and he said he had had hundreds of Redwings and a few Fieldfares heading northwest. I arranged to meet Phil at Moss House Farm as I had some A rings for him. As soon as I got out of the car Redwings were going over and they were nearly all heading NW. Between 9.30 a.m. and 11.00 a.m. we had 867 go over with only 7 Fieldfare.

Looking at all the reports coming through via the Vismig group there had been a huge movement of Redwings nationally over the 17th and 18th October. We had a walk round and other Thrushes included 5 Mistle Thrushes and 3 'continental' type Song Thrushes. Interestingly few Finches, Pipits or Wagtails were on the move and all we had were 7 Chaffinch, single Grey Wagtail, 24 Skylarks and 8 Meadow Pipits over.

Another feature of the movement were Pink-footed Geese. Wave after wave kept arriving from the north. It was difficult to tell being so far inland whether these were freshly arriving birds or whether they were coming off the roost out in Morecambe Bay and moving inland to feed. In any case the numbers involved were spectacular and we estimated that at least 10,000 birds were involved!



The 19th October was the Big Vismig that had been arranged by Dave Barker who leads the Vismig group and the idea was to have as many people out in the country recording vismig to compare results from a UK perspective. I was supposed to be recording at Rossall Point and I say supposed to as I never made it. On the Saturday (18th) night I was returning from a Queen and Paul Rodgers gig in Liverpool, which was absolutely f*cking awesome by the way, and my car suddenly died on the M6. I had to dive onto the hard shoulder and call the AA. It had lost all its water and over-heated. The AA man thought it was the car's head gasket and towed me to the garage I use and then on home. I tell you what, if it had happened on my way to the gig I would have blown my head gasket! Anyway the car is in hospital and I am waiting to hear the prognosis. It's on occasions like this that I don't mind getting taxed more for a company vehicle as I suspect it could be expensive!

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