30th August 2015 – Hirundines

 A warm muggy day with a light/moderate ENE wind. Lots of diurnal migration today. Yellow Wagtails (c50) were moving early on along with 2/3 Tree Pipit, also the first time I’ve heard Meadow Pipit passing over although only a few. Hirundines put on the main show with the first big movement of that group this autumn. Mainly House Martins & Swallow with Sand Martins in much lesser numbers. The day total must have hit a 1000+ by the time of leaving the area at 15.00hrs. Passage through the wider area must have been much higher than that. Whilst in Whitbread Hollow I also bumped into a Hobby, Redstart and a Merlin shot through east. I encountered a minimum of c50 Whitethroat, 5 Blackcap, 1 Garden Warbler and 1 Lesser Whitethroat with only one Willow Warbler. 2 late Swift drafted through with the Swallows & Martins, good candidates for my last of the year.


Spotted Flycatcher Belle Tout.

After noon I moved onto Belle Tout for a bit of raptor watching. 5/6 Common Buzzard (potentially some duplication there) were seen and a Red Kite drifted high east to west. None of the Common Buzzard acted like they had any migratory intentions, all descending north back inland once they hit the edge of land. Whilst sitting above the wood, a Pied Flycatcher dashed in front of me then spent a little time feeding in the sycamores. Belle Tout also held 2 Spotted Flycatcher and the first Chiffchaff I’ve seen this autumn. A species that will soon replace Willow Warbler as the most numerous phylloscopus warbler.


“These are not the Buzzards you are looking for…”

Common Buzzards from todays sky watching, trying to look rare.



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