Thursday, 25 August 2016

Mega Beer Head Morning

Mixed emotions from Beer Head this morning. One of my best ever early autumn falls, but I was bird ringing and managed to catch not that much at all!!  I knew it was going to be good straight away, as I was walking out to my net site in the half-light of dawn I saw a Spot Fly on a low fence with half a dozen Wheatear, and two Tree Pipits flew over calling.

The first two hours were really amazing, with birds just suddenly appearing in the bushes, but then quickly disappearing too.  The field I was ringing in was then completely invaded with Wheatears when a huge flock dropped in, but again they pretty quickly moved off west. Yellow and Grey Wags and Tree Pipits kept zipping overhead, it really was all go and so so exciting!!! At about 9am though it all went quiet. And I mean really quiet, the bushes just went bird-less. So weird how this happens...

But my one 60 foot mist net that usually catches most things I see was completely and utterly useless.  The north wind was just strong enough that birds could clearly see it as they were flying around, under and over it.  It may as well have been painted neon yellow to be honest - well it couldn't have done any worse! So so disappointing in this respect (especially as I saw the star bird of the morning 'bounce out'), but a superb few hours at the same time!

Pointless mist net!

So, forgetting about the ringing (which is what I should have done at 7am and just gone for a wander!) this is what I saw;

1 alba Wagtail
3 Grey Wagtail
30+ Yellow Wagtail (some with cattle, others over west)
15 Tree Pipit (my highest ever count for Beer Head, all overhead)
25+ Wheatear
2 Redstart (m and f)
1 Pied Flycatcher (a bit of a Beer Head mega, last seen bouncing out then flying around my mist net! Gutting)
5 Spotted Flycatcher
1 Blackcap
1 Garden Warbler
4 Whitethroat
10 Willow Warbler
5 Chiffchaff
1 Goldcrest (my first of the autumn here)

Ian Mc, Ian P and my Dad were also up Beer Head this morning, and from what they told me I reckon you could add another one or two Redstarts, a couple more Spot Flies and a load more Whitethroats to my totals.

Epic epic epic morning. Really hope we get many more like this, but it would be nice if I caught a few of them next time...

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