Thursday, 12 March 2020

Subtle migration


A breezy and cool couple of days and not much different on the local birding scene. Although the strong winds reduce overhead migration it doesn't stop it. Still at night it is possible to hear the calls of Redwing, Moorhen and Coot all strong, regular nocturnal migrants and in the day time perhaps Meadow Pipits, wagtails and gulls are the more obvious movers.

Migration is further evidenced by the lack of certain birds...most of the wintering Lapwings have slipped away, as have many of the Teal, Wigeon and other waterfowl. Fieldfares and Redwings are in swirling flocks around the wet fields or sub-songing unobtrusively from copse or orchard. Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests are now joining the Robins, Skylarks, Blackbirds and Mistle and Song Thrushes in the dawn chorus. Chaffinches, Reed Buntings and chats are all on the move but it is subtle and not so easily to discern - visual skills are not always sufficient and audio plays a huge part in our appreciation of what our feathery friends are up to!

Yesterday (Wednesday) and birds reported locally included five Cattle Egrets and two Great White Egrets at Stanwick Pits plus the seven Redshanks still. Clifford Hill held two Scaup, two Oystercatchers, five Goosanders, eighty plus Golden Plovers and a couple of Ravens. A pair of Goosander were on the River Tove near Shutlanger and Andrew Cook saw a Woodcock and several singing Chiffchaffs at Harlestone Heath.

Today (Thursday) and birds reported included a Great White Egret and four Oystercatchers at Summer Leys. Pitsford Reservoir continued to attract the almost resident Yellow-legged Gull (now a third calendar year bird) near the dam and a Grey Wagtail, with a Great White Egret and two Oystercatchers and a reasonable flock of Yellowhammers in the Scaldwell Bay.

For me and a couple of other volunteers, the day was spent erecting, checking and maintaining nest boxes and topping up the feeders on the Kelmarsh Estate with no birds of note found I'm afraid!


Neil M

Second calendar year
Black-headed Gull courtesy
of John Tilly.

Adult Common Gull
courtesy of Robin Gossage.

Lots of spring lambs
about now!
Image courtesy of John Tilly.

Pairs of prospecting Oystercatchers
are now at most of our bigger wetland
sites...image courtesy of John Tilly.

Kestrel. My impression is that
there has been a reasonable number of
wintering birds in the county over
the last four or five months.
Image courtesy of Robin Gossage.

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