Sunday, 18 October 2015

Exciting migration


Back on home territory today, and a venture up to Harrington Airfield in classic autumn conditions this morning was exciting with swirling flocks of migrants dropping out of a grey overcast sky. The first section of the old airstrip was uneventful but from the first bunker onwards the sky was heavy with contact calls as flocks of a variety of species appeared out of the murk. A flock of 300 Fieldfare funnelled down to a scuffed field from a low cloud base, intermixed with smaller numbers of Redwings. Forty Skylarks looped around in small flocks and the bushes held more Fieldfares and plenty of migrant Redwings, Blackbirds and Song Thrushes.

Finches were well represented with flocks of Goldfinches and Linnets and Chaffinches with smaller numbers of Greenfinch, a couple of Bramblings and Siskins and at least one redpoll sp. Meadow Pipits,Yellowhammers and Reed Buntings flicked and called in the scrub and a Corn Bunting was flushed up near to the third bunker. Several Golden Plover flocks were mobile and vocal, probably amounting in total to about eight-five birds.

Of course all this avian activity attracts raptors and two Sparrowhawks and a juvenile female Peregrine were trying their best to catch a late breakfast.

This afternoon and the area around Blueberry Farm, Maidwell was also busy with in-coming and transient migrants. A female Merlin was in pursuit of Skylarks and a big movement of thrushes was again dominated with hundreds of Fieldfares and smaller numbers of Redwings. Again finches were busy moving with a couple each of Siskin, redpoll sp and Brambling among them. A pair of Stonechat were present in the northern-most field (Small and Big Redgrass).

A few images below of some of the rarer species experienced on The Scillies during the week, a bigger lens is definitely required when it comes to photographing distant rarities!


Neil M

Hudsonian Whimbrel

Siberian Stonechat

Blyth's Pipit

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