Friday, 1 October 2010

Lovely autumn day - Thursday 30th

Thursday was a superb autumn day, which started with an early walk around Wanstone, where there were mist nets, for a list of 32 species as follows
Skylark - lots, it seems there has been some influx
Robin - ditto, including one in the nets showing the orangey yellow tinge of a continental bird
Blue Tit
Longtailed Tit - a good breeding season for them - incidentally one which brained itself against our neighbour's window in 2009 had been ringed as an adult at Wanstone in 2007
Woodpigeon - large flocks again
Chiffchaff - the ones in the nets this morning showed (or shewed) wing length variations of up to 20%, apparently indicating different populations
Great Tit
Blackcap - one trapped last weekend along with tens of Chiffchaff had been ringed earlier this year as a recently fledged bird somewhere in Belgium, maybe a clue to the origins of all these birds
Song Thrush - very flighty birds showing the greyness associated with continental visitors
Lesser Whitethroat
Starling - beginning to form substantial flocks
Blackbird - very flighty and vocal and associating with the Song Thrushes - incomers?
Green Woodpecker - noisy sod
Meadow Pipit - now present in tens on the uncultivated stubble
Yellowhammer - successful breeding this year for 3 pairs I know of
Carrion Crow
Jackdaw - clowning around in the air along the cliffs, lovely to watch
Wheatear - a single bird, probably the same one as pictured in Tony Morris' blog for Thursday
Sparrowhawk - one was hunting in Langdon Hole, and flushed the next species - another found its way into the net
Ring Ouzel - flushed by the Sparrowhawk, circled high over the bank and was joined by a second, going into bushes under the coastguard lookout
Raven - one was calling and flapping along the cliffs, chased by Jackdaws - a star of BBC Autumnwatch no doubt
Great Spotted Woodpecker - near Langdon hole and miles from the nearest trees, well half a mile or so!
Swallows - still moving through in numbers, later there were 500 or so at Winklands
Snipe - a suprise single flushed from the stubble where the subsoiler had been along turning up last years tramlines
Sand Martin - 2 or 3 among the Swallows
House Martin - ditto

Later at West Cliff I stopped the car to look at a raptor to see 2 Common Buzzards soaring over the road, and about noon there were 5, yes 5, soaring high above the farmyard at Winklands, super super, and they were calling too, oh bliss!

Some super autumn colours already this year

Freshley banded Song Thrush, photo don't do the greyishness justice

That Sparrowhawk, a young male, just a bundle of complete aggressiveness

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