Thursday, 22 September 2016

Going, Going, Gone...

Having been out birding every morning this week, it's hard not to feel a little sad when you realise many of our UK breeding birds have left us...

Obviously Swifts and Cuckoos are long gone, but now all those lovely Redstarts, Pied Flies and Wood Warblers that brighten up our wooded valleys have departed our shores, and won't be back for another seven months.  Most of the Yellow Wags, Whinchats, Lesser Whitethroats, Willow Warblers, Garden Warblers, Grasshopper Warblers, Reed Warblers, Sedge Warblers and Tree Pipits have gone too, and we will probably only see dribs and drabs of these, if any at all, from now on.  Come on, how can this not make you feel a little sad?

So now, for a good birding autumn, we are highly dependent on birds born and bred outside of the UK.  And down here on the south west coast, you can usually judge whether it's going to be a good one by how much arrives in the north and east of the country. Once good numbers of birds are in the UK, they then naturally filter down through the country or along the coast. So far things are looking good...

Taken from www.birdguides.com

Although this is a darn good count of Yellow-browed Warblers, every year more and more are arriving into the UK, usually within the last few weeks of September so they are bang on cue.  Last year was our best ever autumn for them here with five different individuals noted, let's see if we can beat that.  My earliest ever here was on 2nd Oct (two in fact, at Lower Brucklands in 2013) so let's see if we can beat that too... I tell you one thing, I certainly wouldn't mind another one from my front garden! :-)

It's looking promising for Lapland Buntings too, a quick look at http://northronbirdobs.blogspot.co.uk/ reveals they had a day last week with 110 on the island which is pretty impressive. 

And why all this waffle? Well I've not seen much that's why. I guess the best of the batch was a Lesser Whitethroat on Stafford Marsh yesterday morning, and an invisible Golden Plover over Beer Head an hour or so later.  Axe Cliff this morning and Beer Head yesterday were pretty much the same, quite a few Meadow Pipits along with less than a handful of Wheatear and Chiffchaff and a couple each of Yellow Wag, Grey Wag and Stonechat.  

No bird photos, so here's the moon again. It looked stunning and so red on the evening of Tuesday 20th...



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