Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Autumn Adjourns

The blog posts have dried up because autumn has...

It has been really stagnant out there for the last week and a bit (but boy have I been trying!). We had a sudden and surprising influx of Grey Plover at the end of last week, Phil had a staggering nine on the evening of Thursday 22nd, with one still present for me the following morning. On Sunday morning another couple had arrived/returned to make three...

A true record shot!

Bar-tailed Godwit numbers seem to be dwindling now, but other wader counts have been very samey with less than ten Dunlin, a couple of Ringed Plover, five Common Sandpipers and not a lot else. I'm hoping the upcoming new moon along with some wind and rain will encourage a bit more variety, but it's looking like the Black Hole Marsh autumn is done now, as the marsh often seems to largely lose its appeal to wading birds by the end of September.  

The clear skies and light winds this morning meant there was only one place to go, Beer Head...

It's getting towards my favourite time of year for weather - I just love cool, crisp and blue late autumn mornings.

Overall it was pretty quiet, but it was nice to see a few different bits and pieces - this list is a mixture of grounded birds and fly overs;

14 Skylark 
200+ Swallow
80+ House Martin
11 alba Wagtail
2 Grey Wagtail
100+ Meadow Pipit 
1 Whinchat
2 Stonechat
3 Blackcap
5 Chiffchaff
1 Spotted Flycatcher
c30 Chaffinch
1 Siskin
1 Yellowhammer

In brief, the bushes were quiet and overhead a little less quiet!  The lone Siskin I think confirms my suspicions that this isn't going to be one of those amazing Siskin autumns - hopefully this won't be the case for all the finch species though.

Annoyingly for some reason all the subjects I tried to photograph this morning were in some way obscured...

Whinchat - the clearest of them all.

A hiding Spotted Flycatcher.

Even this Small Copper suffered from a blade of grass!

It was nice to see Ian Mc at Beer Head this morning back fresh from his holidays, he ventured further west than I did and saw another two Whinchat and a Reed Bunting.  It's great to have another pair of eyes back on the patch, I get the feeling coverage has been pretty poor on weekdays this month - there's only so much ground one pair of boots can cover!

Birds aside, I've been seeing the odd Clouded Yellow around which is nice, including a male on Beer Head this morning.

Let's hope the next blog post is a bit more exciting...

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