|Probably a thousand or more Pink Feet crossed over Morecambe Bay yesterday 18th September 2013.|
over Vicarage Lane fields, Burton In Kendal - 0645hrs to 0745hrs. All movement to the SE
Winds E 12-15mph (or F3/4 beaufort)
Nothing got going before 0726hrs just the odd bird, so actually only got to watch for 20 minutes before I had to leave. It was poor compared to yesterday but this was probably due to the late start by the birds.
Chaffinch: 42 (best: 5,5,5), Meadow Pipit: 14 (10,4), Siskin: 2, Woodpigeon: 1
Over Heysham Observatory from 0830hrs to 1030hrs slightly less Wind though still East at 10mph (F3 beaufort) All passage South East. (The following count is only part of the totals at Heysham):
Meadow Pipit: 160 (9,8,7), Chaffinch: 27 (3s,2s,1s), Grey Wagtail: 2, Goldfinch: 4, Alba Wagtail: 8, Mistle Thrush 7, Blackbird: 2, Heron 2 NW, Swallow: 18, Pink Footed Goose: 49 (40,9).
Thursday 26th September 2013 - Visible Migration
over Vicarage Lane fields, Burton in Kendal - just half hour 0700hrs to 0730hrs, all movement to the SE. Winds E 10mph (or F3 beaufort)
Chaffinch: 111 (best: 8s and 5s), Meadow Pipit: 35 (best: 8,5,4), Swallow 7 (1,1,3,2) Redwing 1 (first of the year and audible only), Goldfinch: 20 (one party), Alba Wagtail: 3, Woodpigeon: 4.
"No traffic noise today just the rustling noises of maize blowing resulting from the Easterly 10mph winds or F3 on the beaufort scale!"
"Some of the Mipits are flying side on to compensate for the wind."
"0730hrs - Got to go "daddies on chauffeuring duties today and again tomorrow, but will get over to Heysham for about 0830hrs and give Pete Marsh assistance in the vismig counting down there."
over Heysham Observatory - 0830hrs to 1030hrs, all movement to the SE winds still E at 8mph (or F2-3 beaufort). Pete Marsh did prior to 0830hrs. - numbers are purely for my count only.
Meadow Pipit: 197 (best parties: 14,10,8,8,8) the total count for this species including Pete's was over 400. Chaffinch:77, Greg Wagtail: 2, Alba Wagtail: 27 (best parties: 7,5,4), Goldfinch 30 (22,6,2), Greenfinch: 6, Swallow: 42 (6,9,7,7,13,1)
"Again Swallows are keeping tight and directly SE with haste"
"Mipits are on a broad front, but lots of them are crossing over the Bay, probably from Ulverston and Grange areas."
"At Heysham, it's pylons and wires, almost everywhere you look in front,
lots of straight lines of wires on top of one another running parallel.
and in between the wires the mipit's are bobbing through in pairs and groups,
today the skies are generally grey, but by mid morning blue holes fractured the grey,
and guess what, more lines started to appear within them already stretched lines,
but these lines were white and fluffy, and straight, and some thin and some fat,
some were criss- cross, and these lines within the lines were aeroplane lines,
And still the Mipit's kept bobbing through in pairs and groups".
"When I bobbed my head above the "Mount",
I saw Heysham one, or was it two, I really don't know
Today the sirons were calling so loud,
just like the one I remember as a child down in East Lancs,
it used to be on the fire station, which they would test every week,
It was supposed to warn us of a "bomb raid" then later,
I heard it was to warn us of a nuclear fallout.
With scaffold, tubes and pipes and lots of steam,
and noise so loud came from that grey coloured tower so vast,
Time to quickly retreat below that "Mount" from where I came,
A second or two in time would pass for me to pace descent"
Back into quiet, with feathered friends to watch and count,
This has got to be for me the right side of that "Mount".
Wednesday 25th September 2013 - Visible migration over Burton In Kendal 0700hrs to 1000hrs.
Again counting from the fields off Vicarage Lane. The weather today was even more "murky" than yesterday resulting in a far poorer count. However I did manage a few which were going directly overhead. eg:
Chaffinch: 152 (mainly to the SE), Meadow Pipit: 33, Swallow: 25, Alba Wagtail: 2, Common Snipe 1, Goldfinch: 9, Siskin: 3 Reed Bunting 1.
Of note: Odd parties of Redwing came into the east coast yesterday evening.
"Buteo calling regular, at first seemed distant and at times my imagination was running away with itself thinking I had heard distant Golden Plover".
"For most of the count there must have been just a little, meagre amount of Westerley wind, because you could clearly hear the amplified motorway traffic coming from that direction."
"Flies continually hovering under this fabulous great old Ash (I hope it stays fit and does not get that nasty disease) The flies are not the smallest of midges which are so annoying and bite and get in your hair making you itch, they are bigger in size, yet not the size of the mayfly, a sort of in between, but not annoying".
"0830hrs, birds semi-lulled and visability closing in even further".
"Co blimey! that musk smell has been at this very spot for at least three days now and was obviously left behind whilst Reynard made his travels through the Maize. The smell clings, but not too unpleasant, yet must be really powerful. Its no wonder some of these after shave lotions are called "musk" but they could never really, really, get a musk to last as long as "Reynard's does".
"Its the very peak time of mipit migration now, but little to show at the moment, no twittering today above the clouds, well maybe the odd one, so don't think I am missing the birds, I just don't thing they are bothering today" Maybe tomorrow will be better down at Heysham.
"What a change in the Swallows! today the few small parties I have had have been tightly grouped and going through direct with no messing about".
Now the little "nasty" midges have arrived in their battalions, so its a good thing to wave my stick at them and try to disperse them! but seriously no joy, just run..."
"I do wish this murk would lift and go away, its been hanging around now for 3 or 4 days. I suppose its something to do with higher than normal temperatures for the time of year, plus the fact that the wind is variable to no wind at all".
"Rustling noises from within the maize which this year is so high, maybe 8ft and carrying two large cobs" Never found out what it was maybe a deer, or a reynard or a hare or a rabbit who knows".
Tuesday 24th September 2013 - Visible migration Burton In Kendal. 0700hrs to 1000hrs
Counting from down in Mike Taylors fields, off Vicarage Lane, near Dalton. Good counts of Chaffinch, still large remnants of hirundines going through and stopping to feed up over maize fields etc. NO PIPITS RECORDED AT ALL (a suprise!)
Chaffinch: 239 (best parties: 14,10,10), Swallow 202 (best parties: 35,27,31,36), House Martin: 40 (best parties 20,10,10), Goldfinch: 22 (best parties: 12,8,2), Alba wagtail: 2, Common Snipe 4 (one party)
Monday 23rd September 2013 - Visible migration over Heysham Nature Reserve 0815hrs to 1000hrs
"Swallow migration had its secondary Peak in the UK today"
Most movement had finished by 0900hrs, just trickling parties after that.
(please note these totals include what Pete Marsh had early doors before my arrival)
Meadow Pipit: 245 (best parties for me: 30,10,17,40,15,13) all NW to SE
Swallow: 12, Chaffinch: 15, Skylark: 1, Grey Wagtail: 9, Alba Wagtail: 9, Reed Bunting: 1, Goldfinch: 3
Later checking out Hirundines over Burton In Kendal. A couple of hundred in the air over Mike Taylor's fields, just enjoying the bonanza of flies. Very difficult to count and gave up in the end. Leaving and more joining all the time.
Sunday 22nd September 2013 - Visible migration over Burton In Kendal. "Swallow migration Peaked in the UK today"
1015hrs to 1115hrs.
First thing it was very poor visability with low mist which did clear mid morning and allowed me to go out and check the hirundine passage coming through over Curwen, Slape Lane and Vicarage Lane, Dalton area.
Swallows: 241, House Martin 7, Chaffinch: 16 plus lots more which could not be counted because I was unsure whether they were on direct passage or just coming in to feed on the maize. Alba Wagtail: 1 Grey Wagtail: 1, Meadow Pipit: 1 (very disappointing), Greenfinch: 2, Red Admiral Butterfly: 3.
The hirundine's were still going through on my leaving and would expect them to be going through on passage for most of the day. These birds are not going directly through with haste, but casually feeding up whilst gradually moving South all the time, but has one lot goes out to the South there is another lot behind them. There seemed to be insects everywhere, lots of midge and lots of other larger sort of "mayfly" type flies about, so I suppose the temptation to feed would be a big pull on the birds and why not!!
"needle tails, arcing wide with intermittent swoops and dives and chattering,
gulping midge and other insects because its a bounty day today and not to be missed,
migrating slowly South, calling tonight at some darkened reedbed or maize field,
and again tomorrow night and the night after before crossing the sea"
Saturday 21st September 2013 - Visible bird migration over Hutton Roof 0800hrs to 1200hrs.
Very little on the move except several Meadow Pipits, just a few Chaffinches and a fine party of 5 Skylarks all going SW, but it was obvious from the start nothing much was going to happen with that poor visability, low cloud damp wetting mist which was about today and remained so for the rest of the day. I also had a blogging party of around 20 Meadow Pipits on the top of the Common. I also had three birds in the same hawthorn bush which when disturbed flew off with a "Tink" call, which I just could not bring the call to mind, it certainly was not the "pink" call of the Chaffinch, but very metallic and interesting! Also a party of four Swallows went zooming past on a South journey.
With very little happening on the bird scene, spent the rest of the afternoon getting soaked through and searching out flora in the nooks and crannies of the grikes and clints for anything rare or out of the ordinary..
Friday 20th September 2013 - More "Pinks"
(0845hrs-1040hrs) Vismig watching at Heysham Nature Reserve.
Pink Footed Goose: 803 (15 skeins, 40,32,40,30,30,45,16,50,130,50,150,50,50,80,5) all coming from North/North West to South/South West. I did not notice any "East" direction influence today.
On leaving Heysham, the hirundines had just started picking up a little, though difficult to count because of the erratic variant directions and undecided as to which were local or on direct migration.
Of note, when I first bobbed my head above the "Mount" level and looking directly in front there were literally "thousands" of dark birds crossing through the back of the power station which kept a straight line and must have been about "40 birds deep" going from NW to S/SE. It was really thick and you could see birds from as far left to as far right on that lineage. I never really got into it, caught out with the immediate "happening" but can only think that perhaps they were Oyks, although I did not see any "white" flashes at all, everything seemed deep black (probably silhouetted).
1400hrs - 1700hrs Went up through Dalton to Hutton Roof Common. Very windy and little in the way of birds.
So thought I would check out the Autumn Gentian "Fellwort" and sure enough just like Wal said it was to be seen hugging the sides of the footpaths in the shortest of grasses. As usual with this species (well at least around here), you rarely see it with its petals actually open.
|Autumn Gentian or Fellwort on Hutton Roof|
Sadly the weather turned out very badly during the morning and early afternoon, but with being already in Heysham decided to call upon Pete Marsh and try and help out with a little vismig counting. Obviously because of the weather the birds were not going through.
It was a very nice suprise to be given the opportunity to see the rare "Bonaparte's Gull" at Red Nab which was very busy pruning itself at the rock pools whilst in the company of many Black Headed Gulls and others. Thanks to both Peter and Jean for showing me the bird and allowing me to see it through Jean's fine telescope.
(1400hrs - 1600hrs) Afternoon, although very blustery decided to go on Hutton Roof because I wanted some photos of the Holly Fern 2 which I did manage and have posted some below.
Whilst on the top of Hutton Roof Common I did have a small party of Goldcrest which could be heard in the small trees. Obviously this is not Goldcrest habitat and can only think they are resting up during onward migration.
|So here is Holly Fern No.2 and note the fronds are partially disguised by its Polystichum cousin (Hard Shield Fern) showing on either side and again in the middle. (Please click over to enlarge)|
|Another photo of the Holly Fern (and Hard Shield)|
Wednesday 18th September 2013 - "Tickled Pink"
Visible Migration - 0830 - 1030hrs and again 1330hrs to 1500hrs. Burton In Kendal.
I decided to give vismig a go this morning and was not disappointed with a good count of Pink Footed Goose coming in from all directions NNE to NW. Earlier they seem to have that NNE to North direction but by mid morning it was all from the North through to NW. In the afternoon it was all from the NE.
Pink Footed Goose, 591 total (10 skeins 70,9,22,60,100,80,80,40,50,80)
Hirdundines - hundreds - There seemed to be a party over Curwen Wood in excess of 200 mixed with Swallows and House Martins, they were feeding up and gradually moving off South, whilst at the same time birds were coming in from the North and topping up the holding party in high numbers yet again, this seemed to be going on for most of the time whilst vismigging. Only the odd Meadow Pipit, Lots of Chaffinch, odd Redpoll, Woodpigeon foraging parties swelling in numbers. Odd large Thrushes to the West presumed Mistle Thrush. Also now added photo to yesterday's blog.
A "Tickled Pink" day with lots of "pink footed geese",
Hundreds or a thousand or more will have crossed the sky today,
Some from the North West, some from the Nor Nor West,
Some North, and some from the Nor Nor East came into view.
And only just did they, for some were noisy and very loud,
whilst others were so high, you could'nt hear a sound!
I'm sure they where to Martin Mere bound.....