28th Sept 2015 – A few migrants

The weather is now settling into a period of very strong east winds filtering out of a continental high pressure. Very fine conditions with almost no cloud cover day or night. The weather is almost too fine to facilitate a “fall” of birds, difficult to predict what such a spell of weather will produce nationally. Although a Beachy Head Yellow browed Warbler must be only hours away! I looked in vain for one today, with no success.


Juvenile Marsh Harrier over Crow Link.

A number of sites covered today with the exception of Shooters Bottom.

Not a particularly strong movement overhead this morning, a few Siskin heard, Meadow Pipit passed in small numbers as did a few Pied Wagtail, all east. A steady but modest run of House Martin and Swallow continued throughout with the odd Sand Martin mixed in. Birds on the ground included, 35 Chiffchaff, 1 Willow Warbler, 10 Blackcap, 3 Firecrest, 3 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Redstart, 3 Wheatear, 2 Hobby (adult & juvenile) and a Marsh Harrier passed over east at 13.30hrs. A single Clouded Yellow also blew through mid-afternoon. My first visit since the 2nd week of April without seeing a Common Whitethroat.


One of the flocks of Goldfinch present at the moment, perhaps totalling c150 in several groups. Looking at these “common garden birds” reminded me I know little about and often don’t pay enough attention to, the fluctuating numbers of these and similarly common species. I’m convinced there were a few groups of Blue Tit looking like the were migrants today, several individuals climbing high and drifting off in the strong wind. They also appeared especially bright. Dunnocks too have done similar things both yesterday and today. Stonechat numbers seem to have also reduced. Here’s some amazing footage of late September Blue Tit migration through Falsterbo, Sweden.


The Exmoor ponies have been moved back onto the site for winter grazing & habitat management. Their arrival and departure always punctuates the seasons. Seeing their silhouettes along the skyline gives the site some life throughout the still winter months. Often their departure coincides with the first Chiffchaffs & Wheatear of early March.


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