Tuesday 18 November 2014

Winter Woes

I've been walking the dog around Axmouth harbour pretty much daily for the last three weeks, hoping for maybe a storm-driven Grey Phal, or Little Auk, the patches first Spotted Sand (yes I think big - although we are somewhat over due one!), Snow Buntings or even just a Black Red. Well none of the scarcities/rarities in that list ever materialised, and it took until Sunday just gone for a Black Red to finally appear...


The following day there were two here, along with a late Wheatear on Seaton Beach.  Although no Spotted Sandpiper, it seems as though one of it's commoner cousins is going to over winter with us...


Am so glad to say that thrush numbers have increased.  Last Thursday and Friday I saw several flocks of Redwings around the patch, including a group whizzing about the estate I live in.  And I saw my first Fieldfare of the winter on Friday, with small numbers in Colyford (less than ten).

Have to say though, it has been a very poor autumn for many species of birds, especially finches.  It has to be the worst autumn for year for Siskins, I've had less than ten on vis mig this whole autumn, but in previous autumns I often see over a 100 in a morning. I've not had any true 'vis mig' Redpolls (just one in a woodland where they might breed) and I have still not seen/heard a Brambling.  Even Chaffinch numbers were way way down this autumn - and no Crossbills either.  I reckon there's still stacks of food in Scandinavia, and if something drastic doesn't happen weather wise, I think it's going to be a quiet winter down here in the south west.

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