Sunday, 23 October 2011

Visible Bird Migration at Hutton Roof - Sun 23rd October 2011

Visible Bird Migration - Sunday October 23rd 2011.
Hutton Roof, Cumbria.
Wind: S15mph, then South West 20mph then S15mph
Weather: Dry on landing, within 5 mins rain throughout up until 1000hrs.
Movement: S unless stated.

90% of the thrushes we had were within the first 30 mins. The wind must have been OK for them then (South), because they were cutting through to the West/WNW with good height and speed, and did not look to be encountering any difficulty with the winds. I did note that one of the early parties was crossing over the Roof and at a good height, and within seconds of the rain starting, the birds were seen to tumble down on to Hutton Roof and commence feeding, and giving the immpression they were not interested in flying during the heavy rain period. Like other counts over this past few days, the last party of Thrushes (120 at 1115hrs) were seen to be going in the South East direction, as though going back on themselves. Also noted on leaving, that hundreds of Fieldfare were actually down on Hutton Roof and feeding.

It was continual rain up until 1000hrs, and at least some birds braved the weather, mainly finches. When the rain cleared it made no difference, there was still not that many birds coming through.

Fieldfare: 330 W/WNW (best parties 120,50) 120 party seen to go SE at 1115hrs.
Redwing: 100 exactly W/WNW (best parties: 60,20)
Mistle Thrush: 2 E (probably local)
Blackbird: 2 W

Starling: 20 W (also noted approx 5-600 from Leighton Moss Roost to East for feeding between 0745hrs and 0830hrs) Over the past two years, I have had on most mornings from about the 15th October, anywhere between 1000 to 6000 birds ex roost and coming straight over my head whilst counting at Hutton Roof, most mornings would average between 2-4000. Its now over one week on and I dont seem to be getting a quarter of what I would usually get, so I am wondering if there is a shortage of Starling or are they just later this year? or have they found alternative roosting sites.......It will be interesting to see what comes into the LM roost this year......

Chaffinch: 93 (W and E, best party: 17) some birds very high from 1030hrs (after rain).
Greenfinch: 16 (W and mainly E)
Goldfinch: 14 (E & W)
Linnet: 6 (one party E)
Redpoll: 1 W
Meadow Pipit: 5
Crossbill: 2 E
Woodpigeon 8 SE