Saturday, 14 March 2020


Meadow Pipit
photo: thanks to Phil Slade (Another Bird Blog)

Some other recent Blogs with quick links:- 

Crossbills (chicks in late December etc)


Saturday 18th April 2020 - Taylors Fields (in dip)
Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal

Forecast: NE 8-16mph, 3-7c, 0mm rain, 90% Cloud, 1020mb pressure.

Believe it or not I never had one Meadow Pipit.

Chaffinch: 2n
Curlew 1 se
Greylag Goose 2 paired - Bonnie and Clyde to SE

I think for now at least whilst this high pressure and north easterly winds are prevalent I will call it a close with the Spring Migration.  

Friday 17th April 2020 - Taylors Fields (in dip)
Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal

Forecast: East 9-23mph, 6c-10c, 0mm rain, 54% Cloud and 1020mb pressure.

Meadow Pipit: 3 nw
Swallow: 5 n/nw (1,1,1,2)
Chaffinch: 4 se (1,1,2)
Comic Tern: 1 ? (I lost him when he flew into the suns rays)

Greylag Goose: 3 se

"Comic Tern" for anyone who does not know the Comic Tern, the reason it is called this is because I was unsure of whether it was a Common Tern or a Artic Tern (although I would presume it to probably be the Artic) SO the first three letters of the COM (represents Common) and the final letters IC (represents Arctic) so there you have it COMIC TERN

Had a report that one of the regular Dalton Crags GARDEN WARBLERS has now returned

Yesterday whilst out on my exercise, I had my first GARDEN WARBLER in song for over ten minutes without coming up for air!, this is a early date, I usually get them in the last week of April.  Also my first of the year REDSTART again in his "buzzing" song. plus Blackcaps, Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs etc.

I have lots of other stuff to put on here later if you chose to come back, all hastily scribbled in my notebook, yet needs deciphering s-o-o-n.......

Thursday 16th April 2020 - Taylors Fields (in dip)
Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal (0610hrs)

Forecast: NE to E 6mph, 6c to 15c, 0mm rain, 45% Cloud, 1017mb pressure

Still quiet, but better than yesterday.

Meadow Pipit: 48 n/nw (best parties: 1x9,2x5,1x4)
Chaffinch: 5 s (2,1,2)
Goldfinch: 1
Cormorant: 3 se

Greylag Goose: 2 (sure its Bonnie and Clyde)

Wednesday 15th April 2020 - Taylors Fields (in dip)
Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal (0608hrs)

Forecast:  South 2-5mph, 2-8c, 0mm rain, 88% cloud, 1024mb pressure

Very quiet - too bright and little to no cloud, no wind (just occasional light breeze)

Meadow Pipit 10 birds nw
Chaffinch: 6 (5 e/se and 1w)
Linnet: 2 e
Swallow: 2 (1 se and 1n)

also: Long Tailed Tit: 1
Greylag Goose 3 nw - probably Bonnie and Clyde plus 1

Tuesday 14th April 2020 - Taylors Fields (in dip)
Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal (0615hrs)

Forecast: Wind: SE 1-2mph then over to SW 5-7, 0c-5c, 0mm rain, 0-10% Cloud, 1031mb pressure.

Meadow Pipit: 13 nw (4,1,3,1,2,2)
Chaffinch: 2 w (1,1)
Linnet: 2 w
Fieldfare: 3 se/e (2 se and 1e)

Greylag Goose 1 to se 

Easter Monday 13th April 2020 - Taylors Fields (in dip)
Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal (0606hrs)

Forecast: Wind: NE 14-30mph, 2-5c, 0mm rain, 5% cloud 1030mb pressure. Very cold throughout watch

Early misleading signs that things were going to be good! but was not to be... Odd birds today were seen coming through right from the off, and most surprising was to note just how high they were eg: almost to cloud base, but you would never have thought this should be the case in NE 10mph. But it soon freshened and what few birds I had by then seemed to be at very low height, some almost touching the floor. 

Meadow Pipit: 57 n/nw (best: 1x11,1x5,2x4,3x3,4x2,13x1)
Chaffinch:16 (15 se and 1w)
Linnet: 7 (3se, 2w, 2e - plus 5 locals)
Alba Wagtail: 2 nw (1,1)
Swallow: 1 se
Stock Dove: 2 nw (1,1)

Greylag Goose: 2 locals (now called Bonnie and Clyde)

Easter Sunday 12th April 2020 - Taylors Fields (in dip)
Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal (0609hrs)

Forecast: Wind: SE 2-3mph, 9-13c, 0mm rain, 100% cloud down to 80%, 1015mb pressure. Notes below.

Meadow Pipit: 105 n/nw (strong bias to North today) best parties: 1x11,1x8,1x7,1x6,3x5,3x4,2x3,13x2,10x1.
Alba Wagtail: 2 s (1,1)
Chaffinch: 27 (18se,4s,3w,2e)
Goldfinch: 1 w
Linnet: 3 (2e,1nw)
Swallow: 1 nw
Cormorant: 1 n
Starling: 1 n

Also: 2x Greylag Goose se (local backwards and forwards)

Notes today: 
Delayed start first light. The Mipits don't start coming through from first light (unlike the Chaffinch). They seem to be delayed for at least 30 minutes up to 60 minutes after. YET during the Autumn reverse migration, they are moving before it even comes fully light!

Why do we get a early burst of just a handful of birds and then its another delay until the main passage starts. It's just like a appetizer, but seems to be recorded every morning the same!

With light winds you would think the birds will be very high, and sometimes that is the case! So just like today the wind is very light at 2-3mph, yet the birds are coming through at low elevation eg: 30-40ft, yet other times when the wind is slight, the birds will be at such high elevations eg: cloud base

Easter Saturday 11th April 2020 - Taylors Fields (in dip)
Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal (0603hrs)

Forecast: Wind:SSW 3-8mph,9-13c,0mm rain, 88% Cloud, 1021mb pressure. Little wind, very bright.

Very quiet, Mipits very high to high, majority coming through in singles just odd trios. Some very biased to West

Meadow Pipit: 43 w and nw (3x3,3x2,23x1)
Chaffinch: 25 (5w,8s,12se)
Linnet: 5 (2w 3e)
Swallow: 2 (1s 1nw)
Curlew: 2n
Jay: 5 (2nw and 3ne)

Good Friday 10th April 2020 - Taylors Fields (in dip)
Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal (0620hrs)

Forecast: Wind East to South East 5-10mph then right down to 3mph, 7-12c, 0mm rain, 75% Cloud, 1025mb pressure.

Today as been very good for the Meadow Pipits with some good build larger parties etc. Also a couple of single Swallows to the NW. The Mipits came through low (majority: 30-50ft early then down to 20-30ft elevation. It seemed strange with very little to no wind they would want to come through so low down.

Meadow Pipit: 270 nw (best parties: 1x34,1x28,1x21,1x10,4x8,2x7,2x6,2x5 lots of 4s,3s,2,1s
Swallow: 2 nw (1,1,)
Chaffinch: 21 (14se,3w,4e)
Linnet: 5 (4se,1nw)
Cormorant: 2n

Greylag Goose: 3se at and 5nw (presumed local)
Brimstone, Peacocks (several) Small Tortoishell (several)

Our Meadow Pipit peaks for this year up to today were as follows:-
Sat 21st March  (297)
****Sun 22nd March (329)****Wind East 6-10mph
Mon 23rd March (219)
Tue 24th March (182)
Fri 3rd April (119) (with Winter Hill at 1100)
Sun 5th April (127)

Thursday 9th April 2020 - Taylors Fields (in dip)
Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal (0620hrs)

Forecast: Wind ENE 5-6mph, 7-11c, 0mm rain, 50% Cloud, 1026mb pressure.

Still very quiet throughout but slightly more than yesterday, perhaps the Mipits have finished and we are just seeing the late arrivals!

Meadow Pipit: 20 nw (1x5,2x2, rest singles) 30- 50ft high
Chaffinch: 4 se
Linnet: 3 e
Alba Wagtail: 1 nw
Pink Footed Goose: 5 to se

Greylag Goose: 2 to nw (probably same as yesterdays)

Wednesday 8th April 2020 - Taylors Fields (in dip)
Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal (0645hrs)

Forecast: Wind ESE 2mph, 6-11c, 0mm rain, 93% Cloud, 1026mb pressure.

Another super-quiet time with little movement, so resorted to counting the Herring/Lesser Black Back Gulls...

Meadow Pipit: 7 nw
Chaffinch: 12 (7 se and 1s and 2 w)
Linnet: 19 w (1,8,10)
Alba Wagtail: 4 nw (2,2) 
Stock Dove: 1 nw
by the way: Herring/LBBG's: 169 nw (cant tell if these are locals out foraging for the day or maybe migrants on their way back over to Walney for breeding,...

Greylag Goose: 2 se and soon back to nw
Oystercatchers: 2 pairs breeding local
Lapwings 2 pairs breeding local
Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly: 1
Peacock Butterfly: 1

Also: Grey Plover migrating over Lancaster during the night (0338hrs), thanks to @LDBW for this information.

Usual Meadow Pipit Peaks during the Spring Migration are dates between 2nd and the 9th April.

Tuesday 7th April 2020 - Taylors Fields (in dip)
Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal (0645hrs)

Forecast: Wind ESE 3-5mph 4-10c, 0mm rain, 75% Cloud, 1029mb pressure.

Still very quiet with little movement with the Meadow Pipits, just occasional burst, a nice surprise to get Tree Pipit alight in Ash tree closeby to watchpoint. After a 3 minute rest up it carried on North West.

Meadow Pipit: 41 n/nw (best parties 4x4)
Chaffinch: 7 se
Linnet: 9 (8w and 1 se)
Alba Wagtail: 1 se
Tree Pipit: 1 nw
Curlew: 1 se

Greylag Goose 3 (1s and 2nw)

Kindly informed: House Martins back on territory at Dalton Hall (always early), also Swallows back on farm near Priest Hutton.

Also elsewhere: Even more Common Scoter moving over Otley (W. Yorks) last night, see latest info at: Willow Warblers recorded all over the country yesterday and also plenty of Blackcaps. Red Rumped Swallow recorded at Scarborough and then later recorded at Hunmanby Gap further down on East Coast (south move). Whimbrel have been moving and so have Yellow Wagtails, Good Wheatear falls, Terns have been on the move if you are in the right place.

Monday 6th April 2020 - Taylors Fields (in dip)
Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal (0645hrs)

Forecast: Wind: SW 15-30mph 8c, 0mm rain, 100% Cloud, 1005mb pressure.

Never got going with the Mipits, just a small trickle throughout the watch, another Swallow early doors and then Iater I had my first House Martin, which was doing three laps of honour, hawking around before moving off north/north west. Also had a probable female Red Breasted Merganser.

Meadow Pipits: 16 n/nw
Chaffinch: 27 (23se 4w)
Alba Wagtail: 9 (7se and 2nw)
Linnet: 4 se (also large party of 16 locals)
Swallow: 1 w
House Martin 1 nw
Stock Dove 1 nw
Greylag Goose: 8 w (presumed local)
Red Breasted Merganser (female): 1s

also: Buzzards x 2 (local?), Peregrine x1 (local?)

Mipits, I might as well give up on forecasting!
today South West and nowt doing,
other than 16 hardliners who just could not say no
Wonder what was blocking them?
I'll bet winds too strong today, Nah!
But they should be OK on a 15-25mph SW,
GOT IT! they just do not like the cold (can't blame them),
and by the left it was very very cold with that wind today...
Did'nt bother Swallers......

I am going to write a piece, called!
"The Frustrations of a Vismigger"
which shall contain plenty of - Is it this?, or is it that?
Is wind too strong, is it in wrong direction,
Is it too hot today, is it too cold today,
Is it too clear with lots of blue sky showing,
Are they too high like little specks,
Are they too low and fall into background
the scenario's are endless!
What's good one day, is not so good another day
there is never two days alike or nearly never should I say...
Shall I retitle it to read:
Vismigger Intoxicated by the obsession of trying
to work out the impossible! 

"Keep it up, tomorrow will be fantastic" with a mixed bag of SE and Southerlies......... lots of Mipits and Hirundines.......


Sunday 5th April 2020 - Taylors Fields (in dip)
Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal (0645hrs)

Forecast: Wind: ESE 6-30mph, 4-11c, 0mm rain, 78% Cloud, 1013mb pressure.

Nice steady flowing Mipits with regularity which looks good, still small numbers mainly singles/pairs but the build is now getting hold and things look good for this coming week. At first steady low wind but later freshened to 25-30mph and thats when the birds started coming in low over land and hopping over the hedgerows.  Also another two single Swallows through - Do 3 Swallows make a Summer? (2 today and 1 last Tuesday)

Meadow Pipits: 127 all n/nw (best parties: 1x15,1x12,1x8,1x6)
Chaffinch: 24 (22 se,2w)
Swallow: 2 n/nw (1,1)
Alba Wagtail: 4 (3se and 1n)
Pink Footed Goose: 6 n/nw
Curlew 1 nw (calling, maybe local)

Mipits high, Mipits low and Mipits floored!

A said a LITTLE BIT more wind will do, BUT.....
Winded by a nice 6mph (OK) to a superfresh 30mph (ESE)
First they flew high (75ft), then they flew low (40ft),
But when wind got up it floored them,
Literally, as in flying just above the soil,
Time for eyes to hedgerows or you miss them!
Showing South West tomorrow, nah then that will do.
I've plenty of room in notebook! 

Also: During last night (Saturday) even more Common Scoter reported from: Southampton areas heading in a N/NW at 2157hrs

Saturday 4th April 2020 - Taylors Fields (in dip)
Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal (0645hrs)

Forecast: Wind South 7-16mph, 5-7c, 0mm rain, 100% cloud, 1016mb pressure.

Vis very poor after yesterday, never been any good on straight Southerlies, it needs that edge to it eg: SW or SE.

Meadow Pipits: 65 nw (best parties 1x19 1x4)
Chaffinch: 41 se or w or s (28se,8w,5s)
Linnet: 1 se and 3 others (local)
Alba Wagtail: 4 (3nw 1s)
Buzzard: 1 nw

Also: during last night (Friday) even more Common Scoter between 2100hrs and 2215hrs calls recorded from: Southampton, Guisley (Leeds), more from Hants, Otley (Yorks), Wibsey (Bradford), Rodley (Leeds), South Harrogate (Yorks), Swinefleet, Wainfleet....and more local reports included a party over Lancaster at 2135hrs, some more recorded over Arnside at 2210hrs and 9 parties recorded at Claughton between 2158hrs and 1116hrs.

Mipits won't stir on a Southerly (4th April 2020)
Yesterdays tomorrow has arrived, and..
Whats all fuss abaart!
Never been good them straight Southerlies,
Tha needs edge on it! to be any good..
You know, a bit of South East
or for that matter a bit of South West will do better!
Thi all thought Mipits would stir today,
Not on your Nellie! thas no chance,
fur when thi do, I'll do a dance....

Friday 3rd April 2020 - Taylors Fields (in dip)
Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal (0700hrs)

Forecast: Wind West 5-15, 2-6c, 0mm rain, 97% cloud, 1015mb pressure.

Better day with Mipits starting to build, so all being well tomorrow with the forecasted Southerlies should be OK for getting them going. Getting late now for Fieldfare but did manage a few this morning. Nice getting a further Merganser

Meadow Pipits: 119 nw (best parties: 1x8,3x7,3x5)
Chaffinch: 11 (9se 2w)
Linnet: 1 se (plus10 local)
Alba Wagtail: 21 nw (1x10,1x3,1x2 rest singles)
Fieldfare: 15 (6e and 9sw)
Red Breasted Merganser: 1nw

Meadow Pipits (3rd April 2010)
Wow it was all systems go, but so high,
Most of the little beauties were so difficult to find,
they were high, as in cloud base, high as in a speck,
Wondered how many I had missed? lots!
Every midge on the planet was trying to join them,
So one speck for the midge and one speck for the mipit,
It was painstaking, neckbraking delightful hard work!
Tomorrow looks good, but a little more wind please,
Lets bring them down a peg or two,
But seriously, out will do!

Over 1100 Mipits today at Winter Hill going NW

Last night (Thursday) it was yet another night with large amounts of Common Scoter crossing over the Country (E to W) please go to this link below to check out Birdguides report so far:


Thursday 2nd April 2020 - Taylors Fields (in dip)
Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal (0700hrs)

Forecast: Wind West 12-25mph, 5-8c, 0.1mm rain, 57% cloud 1014-1012mb pressure, lightest of drizzle throughout

So far the Westerlies have not helped here. Today was completely naff!!

Meadow Pipit: 5 nw
Alba Wagtail: 4 nw
Linnet: 4 nw

Thats it folks

Areas throughout the UK reporting large evening passage of Common Scoters last night. 

Wednesday 1st April 2020 - Taylors Fields (in dip)
Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal (0700hrs)

Wind: WNW to NW 3-6mph, 4-6c,0mm rain, 100% cloud, 1026mb pressure. 

Still even with the wind change it was still rather desperate with very little movement with the birds.

Meadow Pipit: 39 nw/w (more bias to the west today)
Chaffinch: 15 (2w and 13se)
Linnet: 3 se and e (1e 2se) also 19 local party
Alba Wagtail: 9 (3s 6nw)
Skylark: 4 nw (2,2)

Greylag Goose: 4 nw (presumed regional)
Cormorant: 3 se (1,2)
Buzzard: 1 s (presumed local)

Tuesday 31st March 2020 - Taylors Fields (in dip), Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal (0700hrs)

Wind: NNE 6-9mph, 1-6c, 0mm rain, % cloud, 1036mb pressure. 

Again not much in the way of Meadow Pipits, but winds supposed to change to West this afternoon and we will hopefully get about 3 days before the East comes back, so fingers crossed. The best thing about this morning I had my first SWALLOW heading north West. (One Swallow does not make a Summer!) - see sketch. Also interesting today that most of the Chaffinch were going South West..

Meadow Pipit: 24 n/nw (1x3 6x2 and the rest singles)
Chaffinch: 13 se/sw/e/w (3se,4sw,2w,1e)
Alba Wagtail: 3 nw
Swallow: 1 nw

4 Lapwing (2 pairs local), Green Woodpecker yaffling, GGW one drumming. Lots of Pigeons, LBBG's, BHG's

Monday 30th March 2020 - Taylors Fields (in dip),
Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal (0700hrs)

Wind: NNE 3-5mph, 0-7c, 0mm rain, 40% Cloud, 1040mb pressure. odd light speckle rain which produced a rainbow but gone within 5 minutes.

N'ipits and Naff'inch - Still quiet but just a tad better than yesterday, but it will happen soon! I can feel it in the booens..

Meadow Pipit: 42 n/nw/ne (best parties 1x5,1x4)
Chaffinch: 35 se or w (20se 15w)
Linnet: 2 se (plus 25 local party)
Reed Bunting 1 nw
Alba Wagtail: 4 nw (1,1,1,1)
Skylark: 5 s then nw
Starling: 2 e
Canada Goose: 6 se 
Pink Footed Goose: 6 e
Peregrine Falcon: 1 n (presumed local)

2 paired Lapwing (local)
1 paired Oystercatcher (local)

Sunday 29th March 2020 - Taylors Fields (in dip), Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal (0700hrs)

Wind: NNE 14-31mph, 0c-5c, 0mm rain, 0% Cloud, 1044mb pressure.

Dire! (nuff sed..) 

It was so quiet this morning with just the odd trickles here and there. 

Meadow Pipit: 12 n or nw (2,5,1,2,2)
Chaffinch: 4 se (1,1,1,2)
Linnet: 19 se and n (5s,6s,8n) also 15 party probably local
Alba Wagtail: 6 n or nw (1,2,1,1,1)
Skylark: 4 nw (group)
Starling: 1 e

Meadow Pipit Migrations -
Laund Hey, Haslingden, Lancs - 19th March 1990

You can hear their little twitter above this mist,
Regular, repeated, their call of contact,
What must their mind attribute,
It's delicacy and fragility, this little soul,
We will never understand, though,
Patience we will share,
The Pipit searches too and fro


Saturday 28th March 2020 - Taylors Fields (in dip), Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal (0600hrs)

Wind: NNE 10-28mph, 3c-8c, 0mm rain, 28% Cloud, 1033mb pressure. 

Very similar to yesterday with just occasional trickles of singles or pairs, but much colder. Mipits struggling with gusty winds. It kept them low almost touching floor at times, struggling to cut and blowing them back and way off course with regular gust to 25mph (not nice at all for the Mipits and others).  It's always bad when I chose to also count the LBBG's passing whilst on their daily forage, but with little else to count...

Meadow Pipit 56 n/nw (best: 1x6,2x4)
Chaffinch12 (11se and 1w)
Linnet: 7s (3,2,1,1 plus 10 party presumed local)
Alba Wagtail: 3 n (1,1,1)
Stock Dove 2 nw (1,1)
Starling: 6 e (3,3) at 0615hrs

Peregrine Falcon 1 ne (presumed local)
Lesser Black Backs: 182 all nw (probably local foraging)
Black Headed: 112 all now (probably local foraging)

Friday 27th March 2020 - Taylors Fields (in dip), Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal (0600hrs)

Wind: ENE 3-5mph, 2-10c, 0mm rain, 0% cloud, 1028mb pressure.

Very similar to yesterday with just occasional trickles.

Meadow Pipit: 69 n/nw (best: 1x6,1x5)
Chaffinch: 24 (22 se and 2 w) best 1x6,1x5.
Linnet: 2 se (plus 50 local birds spooked by Sparrowhawk)
Skylark: 8 nw (3,4,1)
Alba Wagtail: 1 nw

Notes: Mipits today not that interested, some just dropping to ground to feed up. Others chasing one another....

Thursday 26th March 2020 - Taylors Fields (in dip), Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal (0600hrs)

Wind: ENE 2mph, 5-15c, 0mm rain, 0% cloud, 1025 mb pressure.

Another quiet day with high pressure, clear skies, and no wind - just the recipe the birds do not want! but still, I had some trickling pairs or groups of Mipits, though extremely quiet with the Chaffinch. My highlight was probably the Buzzard (migratory) which came through, I watched all the way in and all the way out to NW. 

Meadow Pipit: 79 n to nw (best: 1x8,1x7,1x6,1x4,7x3,9x2,15x1)
Chaffinch: 24 se or w (19se 5w) 1 trio, 8 pairs and 5 singles
Linnet: 9 (7se and 2nw)
Alba Wagtail: 3 nw
Fieldfare: 1 e
Buzzard 1 nw

Also: A song thrush singing and taking off the Curlew, 4 Lapwing (2 paired) local.

One Osprey returned to Foulshaw this morning 


Wednesday 25th March 2020 - Taylors Fields (in dip), Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal (0600hrs)

Wind: SSE 5mph, 5c- 10c, 0mm rain, 50% cloud, 1023 mb pressure.

Mipits superquiet, they do not like this sort of weather high pressure, little wind, up to about 20 dropping to feed up shows their intent.

Meadow Pipit: 88 n to nw (best: 1x7,1x6,1x4,7x3,14x2,21x1
Chaffinch: 63 se/w (56se 7w) (best 1x9,1x5)
Linnet: 10 se (7,2,1)
Alba Wagtail:5 (3 nw and 2 se)

Peacock Butterfly: 1

Woodpigeon, BHG's, LBBG's not counted

Also a Brimstone butterfly in Dalton Hamlet

Other news: quite a few reports of Buzzards, Marsh Harriers and Red Kites are entering the country today..

Tuesday 24th March 2020 - Taylors Fields (in dip), Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal (0600hrs)

Wind: SE 3-5mph, 2c-7c, 0mm rain forecast, 98% cloud, 1022mb pressure.

The Mipits had another quiet day with just trickles throughout the morning, but it was still very enjoyable and entertaining. Also fewer Chaffinch this morning. I think all in all both Mipits and Chaffs are not at all keen on the high pressure. It probably needs stronger winds to get them going again, you watch when it turns to NW.
Another bonus today was getting a further 3 Whooper Swans, again on the usual routing from SE to NW.

Whooper Swan: 3 SE to NW (the regular corridor) at 0730hrs - very high 

Meadow Pipit: 182 n/nw (0630-0730=32) (0730-0830=30) (0830-0930=45) (0930-1030=57) (1030-1100=12)
Best parties: 2x10,1x9,2x8,1x7,3x6,3x5,4x4,10x3,14x2,19x1

Chaffinch: 90 (87se and 3w) best: 1x20,1x10,2x5.
Greenfinch: 1 se
Siskin: 1 se
Linnet: 15 se (also 40+ local feeding party)
Alba Wagtail: 15 (9se and 6nw)
Skylark: 9 (7se abd 2nw)

BH Gulls: 300 plus
LBBGs: up to 50

Snippets of Wealth:

The extroadinary high birds (Chaffinch or Meadow Pipits) which you get especially from first light are usually singles or pairs, its very rare you get groups of birds at these heights, or should I say that are visible to the human (but maybe found occasionally by radar), most of the groups visible appear to be from mid range height to a more regular 30ft height or so.
The high birds tail off more has the morning progresses although you do still get the odd bird which seems to love "altitude" whatever the time of day...

The Skylark can be recognised by several features during migration but one thing that stands out for me is the "excessive fluttering whilst in flight" and this is easily seen if you are looking down the line to the bird. Also occasionally you see a sort of umbrella hood and posture with glide from its wings. Quite regular I notice they seem to play with the wind and appear to be struggling going into winds of which they may well be, yet when they are "serious" they can cut the wind just as good as any other bird.

More Chiffchaffs are back!!

Just to inform anyone we have a further 4 Chiffchaffs recorded today back on territory. One on Crag Bank, Vicarage Lane, Burton and 3 back on Canal between Tarn Lane and Longlands (info thanks to Sandra)


Monday 23rd March 2020 - Taylors Fields (in dip), Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal (0615hrs - 1100hrs)

Wind: ESE 5-15 mph, 0c start to 7c, 0mm rain forecast, 50% cloud, 1027mb pressure. Freezing for the first hour, coldest yet!

The Mipits seem to holding back this morning, with just a first light flurry of half a dozen, then odd trickles. It was about 0800hrs before anything really got going and this was very light compared to yesterday and by about 1000hrs they dropped with just trickles after to a complete stop by 1030hrs.. 

The Chaffinch was a better than normal count, obviously they liked the ESE which presented no problem for them! but still cannot weigh up why they want to go South East, along with Albas going SE as well. 

Meadow Pipit: 219 n/nw
0600-0700hrs=19, 0700hrs-0800hrs=22, 0800-0900hrs=82, 0900-1000hrs=62, 1000-1100hrs=34 (Best parties: 1x14,1x10,1x9,3x8,1x7,3x6,6x5,5x4,9x3,15x2,27x1

Chaffinch: 93 se/w (73se and10w)
Linnet: 35 (22w 13se)
Alba Wagtail: 14 (12se and 2nw)
Fieldfare: 3 nw (one party)
Skylark: 6 se (4,1,1)
Starling: 27 e (12,12,3)
Red Breasted Merganser 1 nw (0732hrs)

Curlew 2 nw (presumed local)
Woodpigeon singles heading n/nw
Black Headed Gulls 50 - one party NW
LBBG's perhaps 20-30

Another of our regular Chiffchaffs has arrived back - the one in the large house opposite the Burton School (via Sandra)

Sunday 22nd March 2020 - Taylors Fields (in dip), Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal 0600hrs to 1100hrs

Wind: E 6-10mph, 1-5c, nil rain, 80% down to 50% Cloud, 1030mb pressure. Got brighter by 0900hrs and birding started to drop (mipits). Arrived on site at 0600hrs and left at 1100hrs.  3 more Herds of Whitness, and good Mipit counts which started to dip from 0900hrs.

Whooper Swan: 63 n/w/nw (12n at 0738hrs, 32w at 0824hrs and 19nw at 0940hrs) again all out of se direction presumed possibly Lincolnshire or Norfolk....

Meadow Pipit: 329 n/nw (1st hour 0600-0700 = 59, 2nd hour 0700 to 0800 = 75 3rd hour 0800-0900 = 113, 4hour 0900-1000 = 38 and 5th hour 1000-1100 = 44 (best parties: 1x20,2x13,1x12,1x10,2x9,1x8,2x7,2x6,6x5,3x4,14x3,24x2,30x1. first mipit @ 0616 then bulk from 0625hrs

Chaffinch: 40 (35 se and 5 w) first bird @ 0612hrs (best parties: 1x5,2x3,4x2,21x1
Greenfinch: 1 se
Linnet: 27 (1sw,12se,3s,4w,6se (+20 local feeding group)
Skylark: 1 nw 
Starling: 30 e at early doors 0600hrs then a further 3 and 40 by 0615hrs. I do think the early door birds were migratory on return
Alba Wagtail: 4 (1se 3nw)
Cormorant: 1 se (0620hrs)
Geese: 4 very noisy, one had a metal tag clip to its wing, possibly Brent 4 syllable to call. (not Pinks or Greylags, smaller)

Fieldfare: heard only
Siskin: heard only
Curlews calling - distant
Woodpigeon: several feeding groups
LBBGs lots in both directions

Some of our Chiffchaffs are back: Besides the one reported yesterday at Plain Quarry, Dalton Crags. My Sandra has told me she had another 3 back today whilst walking the Canal. eg: one on the canel not far from Storth, plus one of the regulars at the Dog Kennels at Cinderbarrow, and another of the regulars on the opposite side of the Canal off Tarn Lane. Obviously a large arrival during the past couple of evenings.

Saturday 21st March 2020 - Dalton Crags (deforested)
0645hrs to 0800hrs

Wind: E 20-30mph -2c, 0mm rain, 20% cloud to 50%, 1031mb pressure. Arrived on site 0615hrs. To be honest it was unbearable up there (800ft) with relentless strong easterly winds blowing up to 30mph. The Mipits just did not want to know and most of them were grounded. The bonus came with a 27 herd of Whooper Swans and our first Chiffchaff return. I made my retreat at 0815 and went to my usual watchpoint on Vicarage Lane which was great! see below for details...

Whooper Swan: 27 nw (seen from somewhere around Ingleborough and headed over the Common to a Kendal direction. Seen at 0725hrs
Meadow Pipit: 19 nw (1x3,5x2,6x1)
Linnet: 8 (one party)

Chiffchaff: 1 near Plain Quarry car park and singing
Tawny Owl: 1 calling from Beech Woods to East
Curlew: heard in area.

Snippets of wealth (notes): Skylarks (several) were holding the vertical hover without any noticeable problem in 30 mph wind.
Meadow Pipits: chasing one another with up-lifts in 30 mph wind.

Saturday 21st March 2020 - Taylors Fields (in dip), Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal
0840hrs to 1200hrs

Wind: E 10-20 mph 5/6c, 0mm rain, 75% cloud, 1031mb pressure.

The Mipits were at times struggling and being driven through with great speed and most flying side on to try and compensate with the strong easterlies. It was brilliant to be getting large parties which to me indicates it will be coming up to peak mipit movement over the coming days if the weather is OK.

Meadow Pipits: 297 all N/NW 1st hour (0840 to 0940): 50, 2nd hour (0940 to 1040) 140, 3rd hour plus 20mins (1040-1200) 107 (best parties were as follows: 1x30,1x22,1x20,1x16,2x12,1x10,4x9,3x7,1x6,1x5,9x4,5x3,14x2,33x1.
Chaffinch: 20 se (2x3,2x2,8x1)
Skylark: 8 n and s (3s,2s,3n)
Linnet: 9n (plus 40 and 15 parties considered local)
Golden Plover: heard

Friday 20th March 2020 - Taylors Fields, (in dip) Vicarage Lane 0615hrs -0715hrs

Wind: NE 7-10mph, 0c, 0mm rain, 0% Cloud, 1032mb pressure. Very bright and hard work to find birds although I got a very nice surprise, because I did find birds, but rather large ones by looking South and seeing raft after raft of Pink Feet.

Pink Footed Goose: 3300 approx (all coming up from the West coast which could have been Morecambe Bay or even further down into Blackpool or even Southport areas, and all heading in a direct movement to the North East. I first found the movement from about 0630hrs and it went on until 0700hrs approx. They appeared to go past Caton and probably in the Kirkby Lonsdale direction or even further back to Ingleborough.

Meadow Pipit: 16 nw (2,5,2,1,2,2,2) missed lots
Chaffinch: 19 se (4,3,2,6,3,1) missed lots
Alba Wagtail: 1 se
Skylark: 1 n
Sand Martin: 2 n

Friday 20th March 2020 - Dalton Crags (deforested) SD5537277161 - 0737 to 0930hrs

Went up on the Crags earlier today, because I knew I would see them all OK coming through the regular corridor and also because of the fact I was about 500 yards higher elevation. It's a watchpoint really for Mipits although a third tier in the league tables for bird quantity compared to lots of other vismig sites, but still it is very enjoyable and does give you a picture towards what's going on.  And this morning was very similar to yesterday with about 20 to 22 birds average per hour. 

Meadow Pipit: 44 nw (19 1st hour/24 2nd hour) 1x3,9x2,21x1.
Lesser Redpoll: 1 n
Skylark: 1 n

Notes: Noticed in recent days, large numbers of Kestrel and Buzzard, sure some of these might be birds moving through.

Thursday 19th March 2020 - Taylors Fields, Vicarage Lane 0615hrs- 0845hrs

Wind: ENE 1mph, 1c, 0mm rain, 20% Cloud, 1027mb pressure. Cold but soon came bright and warm - first Chaffs at 0618hrs

Chaffinch: 67 (55se,12w) best: 1x9,1x8,1x5,1x4,4x3,9x2 rest singles)
Linnet: 25se (1,6,4,10,4) also 50 local flock
Alba Wagtail: 6 (1se and 5w)
Meadow Pipit: 20 nw (best 1x3,4x2 remainder singles)
Reed Bunting: 3nw
Skylark 11nw
Cormorant: 1se

Lapwing: 3 on territory
Oystercatcher calling in fields
Starling: 6
Woodpigeon: approx 50 in all directions locals feeding
LBBGs up to 10 to SE
BHGs up to 5 nw

Thursday 19th March 2020 - Dalton Crags (deforested) 1000hrs to 1200hrs

Wind: ENE 1-5mph, 8c, 0mm rain, 20% Cloud, 1027mb pressure.

Raven: 1 nw
Skylark: 2 nw
Meadow Pipit: 58 (averaging 30 per hour) best: 1x6,1x3,11x2,27singles

2 pairs of Stonechat on territory
Large bumblebee..

Thursday 19th March 2020 - Farleton Fell (Hutton Roof)
1530 to 1730hrs

Meadow Pipit: 73 (55 grounded, resting and feeding) and a 16 party and 2 party going through NW.(eg: still going for it at 1730hrs) - seen this so many times. The mipit on migration will go ALL DAY and right up to darkness and sometimes in very large party numbers.... 

Wednesday 18th March 2020 - Taylors Fields, Vicarage Lane, 0615hrs-0800hrs

Wind: West 8-15mph, 5c, 100% cloud,1021mb pressure
first Chaffs at 0622hrs

Chaffinch: 84 (62SE,3N,19W) mainly singles,duos and trios 2x4s.
Siskin: 4 SE (one party)
Linnet: 183 SE (not true migration reading because this will probably include up to 50/60 local wintering birds ex roost...but certainly a good percentage on movement.
Meadow Pipit: 47 NW (mainly 2s,3s,4s)

Alba Wagtail: 8 SE 
Woodpigeon: 14 NW (8,6)

Wednesday 18th March 2020 - Dalton Crags (deforested)
0815hrs to 0945hrs

Meadow Pipit: 19 NW (2x3,3x2, rest singles)
Skylark: 1 NW
Linnet: 40 SE (one party)

Wednesday 18th March 2020 - Taylors Fields, Vicarage Lane, 1000hrs-1100hrs (called in whilst finishing off the coffee!!)

Meadow Pipit: 24 all NW (2x5, but mainly 1s and 2s)
Chaffinch: 16 (9W 7SE)
Skylark: 12 (5W,7SE)
Siskin: heard
Greenfinch: 13W

Todays interesting records from other areas:

332 Meadow Pipits W at Weybourne Camp, Norfolk

Tuesday 17th March 2020 - Taylors Fields, Vicarage Lane, Burton in Kendal, up until 0700hrs then over to Dalton Crags (deforested 0730hrs to 0830hrs) 0615hrs - 0900hrs

Wind: WSW 15-28mph, 7c, 100% cloud, 1019 pressure. FOGGED OUT

Spent a couple of hours but fogged throughout with only 30-50 yards visibility at best.  Also went up on Hutton Roof but even up there it was thick fog. We will see if it gets better later.........

Did manage to get 9 Chaffinch and 4 Linnet going through to SE but that was it......

Tuesday 17th March 2020 - Dalton Crags (deforested) 1345hrs to 1445hrs

Wind: SW 16-28mph 8c, 0.6mm rain, 100% cloud, 1019mb pressure. 

Meadow Pipit: 13 NW (1,10,1,1)
Stonechat: breeding pair confirmed were seen, but other 6 seen yesterday have possibly moved on..

Today's Interesting reports from other areas:

5 Red Throated Diver at 0745hrs North over Winter Hill, Bolton.
19 Chaffinch NW over Winter Hill, Bolton.
1092 Chaffinch S over California, Norfolk
652 Starling S over California, Norfolk
671 Chaffinch S over Spurn, East Yorks
219 Mipits S over Hunstanton
182 Chaffinch S over Burniston, Scarboro, N. Yorks

Monday 16th March 2020 - Dalton Crags (deforested) - Burton In Kendal 0930hrs to 1030hrs

Wind: WSW 10-15mph, 5c, 20%cloud, 1018mb pressure.

Nice in the sun, but also bitter cold out of the sun.

Still hundreds of Chaffinch about feeding on beech mast both on ground and also high up in trees. Mipits movement continually over the hour at about 40ft high. 

Meadow Pipit: 22 NW (1,2,1,11,2,1,2,2,1,1,4,1,2)
Reed Bunting: 1 NW
Skylark: 1 NW
Cormorant: 1 SE
Stonechat 8 birds - mainly males (at least one confirmed local breeder and on territory, but others difficult to establish whether they are local or just moving through. The plumage on the males was fabulous

Monday 16th March 2020 - Taylors Fields, Vicarage Ln,
Burton In Kendal. 0620hrs-0730hrs

Wind: SW then WSW 5-8mph, 2c, 0% cloud, 1017mb pressure. Sun got up at 0700hrs and it just went quiet. Just odd Meadow Pipits moving North.

Chaffinch: 56 (45SE,10W,1NE)
Siskin: 2W and more heard
Redpoll: 1 S
Alba: 17 SE (could be local and foraging)
Meadow Pipit: 17 N (2x3 all others singles)

Lesser BB Gull: 17 SE
Woodpigeon: 29 NW (15,4,5,2,3)
Starling: 62 E (8,5,40,2,2,1,1,1,2)
Lapwing: 2 local breeders

Other fabulous records from other areas for today...

Meadow Pipits 381 NW over Winter Hill, Bolton, Gtr Mcr
Meadow Pipits 919 N/NW over Elton Res, Bury, Gtr Mcr
Chaffinch 600 S over Long Nab, Burniston Nr. Scarboro
Chaffinch 700 S over Leith Hill, Dorking, Surrey
Chaffinch 281 S over Spurn, East Yorks.
Starling 902 S over Spurn, East Yorks
Chaffinch 1570 E over Abbotscliffe, Folkestone, Kent.

Sunday 15th March 2020 - Taylors Fields, Vicarage Ln, Burton In Kendal. 0620-0800hrs

Wind: SSW 15-30mph, 6c, 95% cloud, 998mb pressure.
First birds Fieldfare at -0630hrs then Chaffinch 0636hrs. Movement had all but finished by 0730hrs..

Chaffinch: 74 SE (best parties: 1x7,3x5 mainly 1,2,3s)
Linnet: 26 SE (5,4,7,10)
Siskin: several heard estimate 2 parties
Meadow Pipit: 6 (5N,1S)
Alba Wagtail: 3SE (2,1)
Skylark: 9 SE (4,3,2)
Fieldfare: 60 E (5,12,40,3) all first ten minutes
Redwing: 30 E one party early doors again.
Blackbird: 1 SE

Other: 2 Lapwing - local breeders
BHG: 3 local
Starling: 36 (12 at 0646hrs) then 3,15,2,4

Other Notes: The Starlings have dispersed in their quantity (tens of thousands) sometime over the first week in March.

Today has been very busy on the East coast especially at Anderby in Lincolnshire with 996 Chaffinch heading South. Also today were 1000 Chaffinch heading South at Sandwich in Kent. ****2612 Chaffinch and 1534 Starling South over California, Norfolk in two hours ****

Saturday 14th March 2020 - Taylors Fields, Vicarage Ln, Burton In Kendal. 0630-0830hrs

Wind: SE 10-25mph (I would guess 15mph for most of the time, and difficult for birds flying into and also the Mipits flying side on with a tail wind), 5c, 0.1mm with regular off/on every 30 minutes showers lasting for 5 minute periods, 100% Cloud and 1010mb pressure. Chaffinch movement SE and Meadow Pipit movement N

First proper watch and the first Springwatch from this particular hotspot.  I guess the main question for me as always got to be "why on earth do the Chaffinch and other finches and Skylarks always go South East on a Spring migration?" This was the direction they headed out during Autumn and they seem to be doing the same for the Spring migration as well...... Well at least the Meadow Pipits are behaving themselves and coming through heading to the North.. also odd Albas and Linnets. By the way I should mention that I am in touch with vismiggers all around the UK and they inform me that in the majority of cases (not all) that their Chaffinch also head South at this time of year...

Chaffinch: 116 (104SE, 6W,6S) Mainly singles or pairs but also 8,6,6,5,6,8,11,5,5

Alba Wagtail: 12 SE (plus about 20 messing about on muck piles)
Linnets: 118 SE (35W) 25,3,35,35,40,15.
Siskin: 4 E
Meadow Pipit: 20 N (2,2,3,3,1,2,1,2,1,1,2)
Skylark: 16 SE (5,1,2,4,1,3)
Redwing: 4 E


Green Woodpecker yaffling - local
Great Spotted Woodpecker - drumming and local
Starling: 82 E (ex roost from 0644hrs other than a 25 all single figer groups - presume roost diminishing quickly now...)
Black Headed Gull: 53 and probably more - not serious counting to E (local feeding)
Lapwing: 4 - 2 breeding pairs and noisy.

Today on arrival and up to leaving a pair of Lapwing were going mad and using up such energy calling constantly and flying up to one another at regular intervals whilst covering a very large field from one end to the other, then returning and this went on for ages. Obviously some sort of courship ritual.