Thursday, 11 February 2021

EARLY MOVEMENTS AND SPRING MIGRATION OF BIRDS THROUGH BURTON IN KENDAL (February 11th onwards 2021) Plus other birding notes.

 


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


Thursday April 15th 2021 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria.
Watch 0630-0900hrs Wind: ENE 3mph, 1c, 0.mm rain, 10% cloud,1036mb pressure.

Quieter still with Mipits so "Nowt to shout about for another bout - no doubt! at all....."  But something special a late "Fieldfare" chuckling or cackling away in the nearby tree before heading off in a East direction to Hutton Roof or maybe even next stop Scandinavia. 15th April getting late for these thrush beauties. Most years I do get the odd late birds into mid-April.

You might wish to know that I had Fieldfare in July one year, and on another visit young birds with adults in September back down in East Lancashire (probably now almost 30 years ago). They were in exactly the same sort of habitat were they bred down in Derbyshire eg: short cut grass (sheep grazed) fields bordered with medium sized hawthorns.

Meadow Pipit: 9 nw (1,2,1,2,3)
Chaffinch: 7 se (2,2,1,2)
Linnet: 15 nw (12,3) and lots of duos and trios in the nearby Linnet tree with some fantastic serenading of song.
Fieldfare: 1 E
Starling: 2 E
Canada Goose: 1 se at 0620hrs
Greylag Goose: 1 sw at 0625hrs
Heron: 1 nw - did some circling high at top of Vicarage Lane before moving west.
Stock Dove: 1 w



Wednesday April 14th 2021 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria.
Watch 0630-0900hrs Wind East 3mph, 1-5c, 0.mm rain, 50% to 20% cloud, 1034mb pressure.

Just another quiet day! with "Nowt to shout about"

Meadow Pipit: 18 nw (first at 0638hrs) 1,2,4,2,1,2,1,3,1,1
Chaffinch: 7 (3se and 3w)
Linnet: 6 nw (1,5) and there is a 50 plus party at last nights roost...
Swallow: 1 nw very high. 

Why first thing in a morning, Is there a short flurry with up 2 or 3 minutes with birds (Mipits) (eg two or three pairs or trios), then it is absent of birds for 30 mins or more on quiet days. I have noticed this now over the years it's a regular phenomena and seems to happen on most days - Why? why?

Later today please check the regular blog if you so wish, I will be putting on my flora photos from yesterday afternoons stroll..... https://arnsidesilverdale.blogspot.com/


Tuesday April 13th 2021 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria.
Watch 0630-1000hrs Wind East 2mph, -1c, 0.mm rain, 80% cloud 1033mb pressure.

Nice cloudy skyscapes today. It looked like things maybe on the change!

Chaffinch: 13 (7se and 6w)
Meadow Pipit: 31 n/nw (did not start until 0900hrs) 4,5,1,3,1,2,4,11.
Linnet: 33 nw (30, 3)
Blackcap: 1 in nearby tree - came in a few days ago.


This mornings skyscape


Monday April 12th 2021 - Vicarage Lane, Burton in Kendal, Cumbria.
Watch 0630-0900hrs Wind NE 3mph, -2c, 0.mm rain, 2% Cloud, 1027mb pressure

Linnet: 21 nw (16,5) first at 0718hrs
Meadow Pipit: 2 nw
Greylag Goose: 3 n/nw (at 0750hrs)

Other stuff:
0900 to 1100 Went via Plain Quarry up to Trig:
Chiffchaff: 1
Willow Warbler: 3
Stonechat: 4 (2 pairs)
Meadow Pipit: 2
Swallow: 1 E

1300hrs - 1530hrs Went to Hutton Roof
Chiffchaff: 4
Willow Warbler: 1
Peacock Butterfly: 1


Sunday April 11th 2021 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria.
0630-1000hrs Wind NNE 6mph, -2c, 0.mm rain, 15% cloud, 1020mb pressure.

Meadow Pipit: 26 nw (2x3,5x2,10x1)
Linnet: 19 nw (7,12)
Alba Wagtail: 1 nw
Woodpigeon: 2 nw


Saturday April 10th 2021 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria.
0630-1000hrs Wind NE 5mph, -2c, 0.mm rain, 0% Cloud, 1017mb pressure.

Meadow Pipit: 12 nw (2,2,1,2,1,1,2,1)
Chaffinch: 1 sw
Swallow: 2 n/nw (1,1)
Woodpigeon 5 n/nw

Also:
Blackcap calling from top of Vicarage Lane.
Lapwing in next field now starting to bob tail typical Sandpiper fashion and more males fighting. Seen up to 5 birds. She seems to make a "waywoh" sort of fluty dull repetitive two syllable call.

Later walking up and through Slape Ln, Lancelot.  Had Marsh Tits half way along Slape Lane. No Blackcaps or Willow Warblers on Slape or Lancelot yet..


Friday April 9th 2021 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria.
0630-0845hrs Wind: WNW 6-9mph, 0c-5c, 0.mm rain, 8% Cloud, 1012mb pressure. Blue Skies and Sunny...

Not moaning just keeping stum!

Today we had:
Meadow Pipit: 10 nw (1,1,1,1,1,2,2,1.)
Chaffinch: 8 (3w, 5se)
Swallow: 2 nw
Cormorant: 1 nw at 0655hrs

Other goodies (for me):

That first Mipit was superhigh, into the realms of extreme, no more looking so high can't do it these days. Midges everywhere and occasionally you had to be careful, because for that second or two you would see a midge fly past whilst maybe thinking it was a high Mipit!

Brilliant! Have you ever seen a Oystercatcher standing up to a Crow, well this one did today, they made a stand and stir one another out then all of a sudden the Oyk would lunge forward towards the Crow, which went into a quick reverse and this happened several times. I don't blame the Crow looking down on a big orange dagger coming flying at one!  By the way the Oyks not down on nest just yet it seems ages since they started canvassing.

at 0900hrs decided to go up to Plain Quarry and check out Dalton Crags for Warblers.

Chiffchaffs 2 (One near to old Quarry, and one on the bonk footpath which runs parallel with the lower Crags.  

Willow Warblers 5 (4 plus 1)  Welcome back my little beauties, I got some cracking views of them just has the sunlight fell on them and brought out the best in their plumage. There is something special about seeing your first of the year Willow Warbler/s. I did not for one minute expect to see so many so soon in just one little section. Ah! that indicates a good fall last night. "Fall" maybe, but that's also a "confusion" you might say, but presented well just like a "bouquet" would be a "wrenched" performance. You may want to read on........

WILLOW WARBLERS – COLLECTIVES

Flying in the dark through a moonlit sky,

Falling from high like little angels,

Floating down on a wavering leaf,

The “confusion” has now begun.

Our dear little Willow Warbler

 Daytime closed you was not seen,

Whilst morning wakes your plenty,

So tread so soft our leaf explorer,

A “bouquet” of special prize to us,

Our dear little Willow Warbler

Your music is a descending tale,

Which finish the year “hou whit”,

A choir of pairs sings thy will,

A “Fall” would be a lot of thee,

Our dear little Willow Warbler

Sylvia’s hand of lucid intricacy

You thread that weave so delicately,

To house and raise a splendid cast,

It’s a start to a “Wrench” fulfilled

Our dear little Willow Warbler

Bryan Yorke - 2015







Thursday April 8th 2021 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria.
0630-0900hrs Wind: WSW 10-12mph, 5c, 0.3mm rain, 100% cloud, 1018mb pressure. Rain very light throughout watch. 

Well what can I say! still nothing in the way of dicky birds, maybe its all coming to an end! but I will give it another day or two.

Today we had:
Meadow Pipit: 3 nw (1,1,1,) first brid at 0713
Linnet: 4 nw
Chaffinch: 3 se (1,2)

(Marathon singing) Song Thrush was doing his lovely party piece as usual.

I wrote this little piece somewhere around the same day last year:

"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! 


The following sketch does not show or mention our current (marathon friend), but another Song Thrush I encounted years ago across within Lancelot, which again was very fluent bird especially with the impersonations. This one from around 2015 was including the 1964 trimphone within his repertoire - so were on earth could he have got that from (no trimphones around in 2015 unless locked up by collectors) was it long laid within his ancestrial genes or what? Isn't nature fantastic... and doesn't it leaves lots of questions to be answered!







Wednesday April 7th 2021 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria.
Watch 0630-0900hrs Wind: NW 3-7mph, -2c, 0.mm rain 40% cloud, 1023mb pressure.

"Not a Dickie Bird"  and that was almost true, I just wonder where did that saying come from? It was cockney rhyming slang meaning "Not a word" or "silence" or "Nothing at all" also who remembers "Two little Dicky birds, sitting on a wall, one named Peter and one named Paul"

Again absolutely below freezing at minus 2, then as soon as the sun got up at around 0730hrs it became bright blue skies and the little birdies definately do not like that, so a combination of both cold and brightness led to a "Not a Dickie Bird day". Still it was lovely just sat there listening to the (4 hour marathon) Song Thrush singing away with regular notes which I guess if you tried to whistle a four sylable "Madame Curie or Alan Turing" you would be somewhere near. And in the Linnet tree to my right the local Blackbird who has got used to me was singing from the highest branch and it was lovely especially when he also started copying some of the Song Thrush repertoire eg: "Madam Curie  (or Alan Turing) 

Meadow Pipit: 3nw (1,1,1)
Linnet: 4 nw
Chaffinch: 3 se (2,1)

When you have been vismigging for over 40 years, many situations will have cropped up over the years and this sketch highlights some of them. I remember on at least two occasions being approached by the police asking to what I was doing so early in a morning (local residents complaints- fair enough), another time sandwiches being pinched out of my bag by young lambs, a dog using your leg as its "peeing post", and being surrounded by several angry looking rams which I thought at first were well fattened quality sheep until I looked at their undersides which made me quickly realize they were warriors and I gingerly made my retreat!!




Tuesday April 6th 2021 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria.
Watch 0630 - 0900hrs Wind: NW 7-10 mph, -1c, 0.mm rain, 0% cloud, 1023mb pressure.

Nothing doing at all, maybe far too bright, maybe far too cold? whatever they just did not want to know. Maybe the snow flurry yesterday sent them packing (see sketch below.....

Meadow Pipit: 4 nw (2,2)
Linnet: 8 nw (2,4,2)
Goldfinch: 1nw
Mistle Thrush: 2 local and still fighting 4 days on...


With yesterdays snow flurry it reminded me of this from back in March 2013


Easter Monday April 5th 2021 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria.
Watch 0630 - 1000hrs -Wind: North 14-23mph, 1c, 0.mm rain, 20% cloud and diminishing, 1020mb pressure. Heavy snow flurry on leaving house up until about 0650hrs then petered out. Really cold wind, even cold with sun up but nice if wrapped up well. 

Birds just a little early start flurry and then dead with just odd individuals going through at low height one to two meter from ground and then noticing as they climbed to negotiate the hedgerow. 

Meadow Pipit: 50 nw (best: 1x8 all others were 3s, lots of 2s and singles.
Linnet: 58 (20se, 3w, 35nw)
Alba Wagtail: 2 (1,1)
Cormorant: 1 to n at 0958hrs.

Also:
2 Mistle Thrush (paired) and still fighting after 3 days..

When birding as got so bad! its time to be a bit silly -----




Easter Sunday April 4th 2021 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria.
Watch 0630 - 1000hrs - Wind: SSW 3-5 mph, 3-5c, 0.mm rain, 100%  - 60% Cloud, 1028mb pressure. Complete MIST out from start until 0845hrs.

No birds before 0900hrs on account of MIST out, but then only a slight ten minute burst before closing to no birds at all after 0915hrs. A nice 18 Mipit party.

Meadow Pipit: 37 nw (2,6,2,1,18,1,2,5) (0900 to 0915)
Linnet: 4 nw (1,2)
Chaffinch: 4 (2se 2w)
Alba Wagtail 3 (2 nw and 1se)
Cormorant: 2w at 1000hrs.

Also
2 Greylag Goose w (leaving house at approx 0620hrs)

It's always worth checking:


Maybe this morning I should have done this..........


Easter Saturday April 3rd 2021 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria.
Watch 0630 - 0945hrs - Wind: NE 3-6mph 0c - 8c, 0mm rain, 1036mb pressure.

Superquiet from off. Again the few birds that came through were low flying today at about 20-40ft very bias to a nw flightpath unlike the last two days which made them more bias to a Northerly flightpath. Nothing over exciting. Really did enjoy watching a Vole run past me (slow) and probably about 4ft away from me, and total oblivious to me sat there. Nature is always so nice to see!  Our Song Thrush is still happy and singing away for 3 hours and still at it on leaving. 

Meadow Pipit: 37 nw (best: 1X5 but mainly 3s,2s and singles) first: 0701hrs
Linnet: 26 (24 nw and 2 se) (8,3,6,1,1,2,3,2) 
Chaffinch: 6 (4se and 2w) first 0702hrs
Cormorant: 1 n at 0728hrs
Woodpigeon: 2 nw 

Also: 
Vole ran past me at approx 4ft totally oblivious to me sat there - a lovely sight!


Good Friday April 2nd 2021 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria.
Watch 0630 - 1015hrs - Wind: NE 3mph, 0-8c, 0.mm rain, 2% Cloud, 1033mb pressure.

Another quietish day but still enjoying, it was literally freezing on arrival, but warmed up nicely for about 0900hrs. Some Mipits absolutely belting through at full steam, whilst others were just daudling along. In fact one of the parties came and landed next to me in the Linnet tree, had 2 minutes then off again. And from about 0900hrs the odd Mipits were all coming across as normal then being attracted by other birds to land in the ex fodder beet field. At one stage about 30 Mipits and 15 Linnets were spooked from the field, the Mipits carried on North. Like yesterday a bias with most birds showing to the North moreso than North West, this is typical with East or North winds.

Meadow Pipit: 104 n/nw (best: 1x12,1x8,1x7,1x6, mainly 3s,2s,singles.
Linnet: 35 nw (13,10,12)
Chaffinch: 5 se (3,2)
Siskin: 1 nw
Alba Wagtail: 1 nw
Skylark: 6 nw (one party)
Greylag Goose: 13 w/nw (11 nw at 0912 and 2w at 1003)

Also:
Blackbird in Linnet tree - a crude version of a curlew
Song Thrush: additional impersonation -  a Green Woodpecker yaffling


Thursday April 1st 2021 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria.
Watch 0630 - 1115hrs - Wind: ENE 10-15mph, 5-8c, 0.mm rain 50% cloud, 1027-1029mb pressure. 

Today was slightly better but again just steady trickles, I wrote in the book "not piling through just occasional passage, plenty of lulls", but OK. I thought we may have got a big push today with the weather changing to East. There was a little bit of build in the Mipit parties with best at 21 and a 9 and a couple of 7s etc. The local Song Thrush was going at it from first thing but gave up after about 3 hours continual singing.  My Song Thrush notes for today included sounds: a hint of Curlew, lots of nice "perfectos Whimbrel" again very melodious "Gt Tit" and a very repetitive what sounded like "Alan Turing". I wonder what tomorrows repertoire will include?

Meadow Pipit: 163 n/nw (best: 1x21,1x9, 2x7,1x5, 6x4 mainly 3s,2s and singles)
Linnet: 85 nw (5,5,10,4,20,3,2,6,30)
Chaffinch: 10 se (1,2,2,1,2,2)
Swallow: 5 (2 nw 3 s)
Mistle Thrush: 3 w (Local?)
Starling 4 e
Greylag Goose 6 w/nw at 0840hrs

It's always worth checking:




Wednesday March 31st 2021 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria.
Watch 0645hrs to 1030hrs - Wind ESE 1mph, 8c, 0.mm rain 37% to 50% cloud, 1020mb pressure.

Today was better with just a steady regular trickle of Mipits going through, some very high some very low, a sort of mixed bag!

Meadow Pipit: 109 n/nw 1x13, 1x7, 3x4, but generally lots of singles and pairs.
Chaffinch: 17 (13se and 4w)
Alba Wagtail: 4 (3nw and 1se)
Linnet: 35 (31nw and 4se)
Mistle Thrush: 4 e (2,2)
Curlew: 2 e
Starling: 1 e
Woodpigeon: 4 nw (2,2,)

Song Thrush (local) within area I am watching, like yesterday the bird was singing continually throughout my watch and almost 4 hours non stop. He did a fabulous inpersonation call of the monotonous "Great Tit" double syllable regular call "pitchoo", he also did calls which sounded like "me and you" repetitive and a good "what your doing", plus others.  Absolute fabulous sounds which is so difficult to put into actual words.

Also: Fell View (Vic Rd) Chiffchaff has now returned and in song.



Tuesday March 30th 2021 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria.
Watch 0645hrs to 1030hrs - Wind SSE 3-5mph, 6c, 0.mm rain, 75% down to 50% cloud, 1026mb pressure.

Still nothing over exciting with Mipits, just a constant trickle of mainly singles heading nw. Maybe no Mips, but a nice sight of 3 togetherness Swallows quite low (40ft high) and heading w/nw at 0745hrs, then later at 0945s I was graced by a trio of House Martins hawking high whilst moving nw - so just maybe its going to be a early hirundine day! I also had a lovely musical morning with entertainment provided by at least 40 Linnets which would regular leave the feeding fields and come alongside me into the "Linnet Tree" and the most beautiful of sounds would then erupt and brought about pleasantness...

Meadow Pipit: 65 all n/nw (1x4,3x3,13x2, 26x1)
Chaffinch: 28 (26 se 2w) mainly pairs
Linnet: 74 nw (3,12,1,6,12,5,5,30) plus our 40 resident party
Alba Wagtail: 1 se
Starling: 1 nw
Woodpigeon: 29 nw (7,5,5,5,4,1,2)
Blackbird: 5 e (2,1,1,1) they all seemed direct and possible continentals?
Swallow: 3 w/nw at 0745hrs
House Martin: 3 nw at 0945hrs.

Also:
St. Marks Fly (bibio marci) - I wasnt imagining it! I saw them and watched them over 20 minutes duration doing their hovering before shooting away with the speed of a "flying saucer". Its normally mid April when I see them so they are EARLY, but a fabulous sight. 



Monday March 29th 2021 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria.
Watch 0645hrs to 0800hrs - Wind SW 25-45 mainly holding 30 plus mph. 9c but felt cooler with strong winds. 0.mm rain, 100% cloud, 1016mb pressure. 

No counts yesterday on account of atrocious weather conditions.

Today only better in so much it was not raining! The wind however was around the 30 mph and stronger gust (at times had me "rocking with unsteadiness" nem mind the birds) yet just had to be there to witness the incredible Chaffinch and their determined feat to carry on heading to their South East in these atrocious strong wind (excessive) conditions. They were side on, dipping up and down and "taking the drift" in openess and odd occasions were seen tree sheltering, but only for a second or two before they were off again. Although I have witnessed plenty of bird versus windy situations over the years I really do not think I can say that I have known a situation were Chaffinch have ever said "NO", there is always some that go for it whatever the strength of wind against them!  they are just little brave souls that never ever say NO (repeat)......or thats how I have always found them, and today was no exception... 

Chaffinch: 9 se (2,1,1,1,2,1,1) 
Linnet: 21 nw (20,1)

Kestrel: 1 (local)

Additional Count from 1300hrs to 1400hrs - still blowing at 30-40mph.

Meadow Pipit: 14 nw (1,1,1,1,4,5,1) the 4 and 5 were extremely high and wondered in these strong wind conditions how they achieved?
Starling: 2 e
Linnet: 60 nw (30,30)
Chaffinch: 4 se (3,1)

Excellent counts of Mipits on the East side with counts over 2,000 per watchpoint, but counts by 1/3rd of that number over here at Winter Hill. 
Common Scoter again reported moving over during the nightime. 



Saturday March 27th 2021 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria.
Watch 0615hrs to 0830hrs - Wind West 15-25 mph, 3c - 5c, 0.1mm rain, 60% cloud, 1012mb pressure. Floating with clouds in and out, so eventually bright 80% blue skies by 0830hrs and by coincidence the birding just dropped at that point.

Meadow Pipit: 124 all nw (best: 1x12,1x11,1x10,1x8,1x5, 3x4, 7x3, 10x2, rest in singles
Chaffinch: 29 (24 se and 5w) best: 1x5,1x3, 6x2s.
Linnet: 88 nw (12,8,14,2,20,10,7,15)
Alba: 3 nw
Reed Bunting: 1 nw

Updating: We are aware that Victor (Vicarage Lane) has arrived back (Mary B) Cindy 1 (Nr Cinderbarrow/Dog Kennels) has arrived back (Sandra Y) and Vicar/Archie has arrived back (near Vicarage) Bryan Y.






Friday March 26th 2021 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria.
Watch: 0600hrs to 0730hrs - Wind South 20mph with gust and heavy rain throughout. 8c, 0.1mm rain, 100% cloud, 1000 mb pressure. Wind and rain at the same time is no good for birding however! I gave it a one hour sampler and then had the sense to call it a do and retired for now, but maybe I will come back much later in the morning when it shows the rains to have moved on. 

Those little hardy Chaffinch, were fighting there way through to the SE with side ons, blow backs again and again, but still fought through it all and succeeded, but the energies they must have been using was obviously unmeasurable. Its always strange to me they want to go through in these abysmal conditions when yesterday looked reasonably easy going in comparison. 

Meadow Pipit: 3 nw at 0715hrs
Chaffinch: 13 all se (1,1,2,2,2,2,2,1) first bird at 0610 still odds going through on leave.
Linnet: 10 nw

also: Watch: 0930hrs to 1100hrs (rain stopped although winds winds strong)

Meadow Pipit: 13 nw (1,2,1,2,1,1,2,1,1,1)
Chaffinch: 15 (3w 12se)
Skylark: 2 nw
Linnet: 86 nw (20,25,8,20,10,3) also a 50 local party.
Alba Wagtail: 2 nw



Thursday March 25th 2021 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria.
Watch: 0600hrs to 1000hrs - Wind SW 5-12mph, 6c, 0.1mm rain, 95% Cloud, 1014mb pressure. Mist early doors with vis down to 200 yards, soon cleared, spotting drizzle a couple of times what lasted only minutes.

Still no build at all just trickles every now and again. A few more Chaffinch going for it especially on their South East routing. Mipits certainly took a dive since this long long run of South Westerlies!

Meadow Pipit: 41 nw (best: 1x5,1x4,4x3 etc)
Chaffinch: 46 (6w,2s and 40se) best: 2x4,3x3 etc)
Linnet: 42 nw (11,5,8,11,7) plus 50 local party.
Alba: 2 nw (1,1)
Whooper Swan: 2 South (at 0633hrs)
Woodpigeon: 39 all nw (4,4,12,5,2,8,4)
Starling: 4 (2nw and 2e)

Also:
Peregrine: 1 local
Kestrel: 1 local. 



Wednesday March 24th 2021 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria.
Watch 0600hrs to 0815hrs - Wind SW 4-7 mph, 5c, 0.mm rain, 50% cloud, blue sky and sunshine build, 1017mb pressure.

A little start quite early with 12 meadow pipits moving nw at 0615hrs and then that was it!! other than 9 further singles over the next hour. So it really did not get going and just not worth spending any further watch time so pack up at 0800hrs had enough.

Meadow Pipit: 21 nw (2,3,4,3 birds around 0615hrs and then the following from 0712hrs, 1,1,1,2,1,1,1,1)
Chaffinch: 9 (7se and 2w)
Starling: 24e (9e,15e at 0611 and 0630hrs
Alba Wagtail: 1 nw.
Linnet: 15 se (5,6,3,1) plus a local party of 30 birds.
Reed Bunting: 1 nw
Cormorant: 1nw at 0617hrs
Woodpigeon: 31 nw (small parties 6,5,1,1,1,4,2,5,2,2,2,)


Tuesday March 23rd 2021 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria. 
Watch 0600hrs to 1000hrs - Wind SSW 8-16mph and freshening, 6-8c, 0.mm, 100% cloud, 1021mb.

It was really cold today and standing around in this must be signs of madness!
"Frozen tu booen", no birds and is it worth it? (answer: ah!..........) lets say 4 hours was plenty enough and more skins necessary for tomorrows outing - no wonder we dont have any birds they will have all turned around and gone back! last year at this time it was lovely warm and sunny.....

What few Meadow Pipits we did have seemed to have been eg 29 were all between 0635 (first bird) and 0715hrs just odd trickles after that. Chaffinches have at last started moving (mainly South East with some to the West), Nice party of Fieldfare on their way East. 

The birds we did have were:

Meadow Pipit: 50 nw (Best: 1x7,3x4,3x3,6x2,10x1)
Chaffinch: 27 (23 se and 4 w)
Linnet: 60 nw (8,5,2,30,8,7)
Alba Wagtail: 5 (3nw and 2se)
Reed Bunting: 1 nw (in party of Linnet)
Skylark: 1 nw
Fieldfare: 10e at 0623hrs

Other stuff worth reporting: The Swifts in Burton In Kendal are going to do well for nest sites.  We already have the new sites built in within the Royal development, and now it is also written in to the planning for a further 36 Swift nest bricks on the new development just north of Boon Town, and today a friend told me he also is putting about four nest bricks in his new development (to start yet) on Vicarage Lane.

Other places:

1212 Meadow Pipits n at Bury, Gtr Manchester (yesterday Mon 22nd March).
1161 Mipits n at Bury, Gtr Manchester (Friday last 19th March)




Monday March 22nd 2021 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria.
Watch 0630hrs to 1200hrs - Wind West 2-5mph, 4c, (but without doubt the coldest day in the last fortnight), 0.mm rain, 100% cloud, 1025mb pressure.

No Herds of Whiteness today! but the Mipits were definately on the build today with one or two nice parties, and still coming through in dribs and drabs on leaving. 

Meadow Pipit: 174 nw (best: 1x17,1x12,1x10,1x7,3x6 lots of 4s,3s,2s,1s.)
Chaffinch: 15  (5w,2s and 8se)
Linnet: 116 nw
Alba Wagtail: 7 nw (all singles)
Starling: 5 n,
Skylark: 3 nw
Curlew: 1 se

Also:
Chiffchaff: first local at Cinderbarrow (per: My Sandra)


Sunday March 21st 2021 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria.
Watch 0630 to 1100hrs - Wind: NE 2-3mph, 4c, 0.mm rain, 68% Cloud.. 1030mb pressure.

Mipits non-existent! with little to no movement. But what made up for it was a special morning with Whooper Swans.. 

Meadow Pipit: 10 nw (4,1,1,2,1,1)
Whooper Swans: 118 nw (75 at 0800,31 at 0836 and 12 at 0838) all Whittington to Milnthorpe areas. 
Chaffinch: 14 se
Linnet: 25 nw (8,8,12,7)

Saturday March 20th 2021 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria.
Watch 0630 to 1130hrs - Wind: SW 2-3 mph, 7c, 0.mm rain, 75% Cloud, 1032mb pressure.

Gone back to a light passage. Another nice Geese skein. Sitting Lapwing making a "way-wook" 2 syllabel call very repetitive.

Meadow Pipit: 40 nw (1x5 then mainly singles odd, 2s and 3s.) first 0714hrs.
Alba Wagtail: 2 nw (1,1)
Chaffinch: 18 (2 s, 13se, 1w, 2nw)
Starling: 1e at 0716.
Curlew: 2 n
Pink Footed Goose: 50 nw at 0747hrs
Greylag Goose: 2 se at 0646hrs. 



Friday March 19th 2021 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria.
Watch 0630 to 1230hrs - Wind: North 7-13mph, 7c, 0.mm rain, 65% cloud, 1030mb pressure. 

A far better day today we a steady trickle of birds throughout the watch. Also had my first Whooper Swans, and a large party of Pink Footed Goose, and also a nice party of Redwing.  The Blackbird made another guest appearance with impersonations of the Lapwing call. First Mipit at 0646 and then 0708 for most of the count the majority of Mipits flew below 30ft, some were almost touching the ground then coming up to hop over the hedge. 

Meadow Pipit: 153 nw (Best parties 1x12,2x8,2x7,2x6,5x5,1x4,5x3 +2s and 1s.
Chaffinch: 9 (8 se and 1 nw)
Linnet: 31 nw (8,1,4,7,3,1,7)
Reed Bunting: 1 nw
Skylark: 1 nw
Alba Wagtail: 8 nw (1,2,1,1,1,1,1.)
Starling: 4 e at 0652.
Redwing: 19 n/nw
Whooper Swan: 11 w/nw at 0922hrs
Pink Footed Goose: 100 w at 1220hrs

Other notes or records:
Lots of Common Scoter on the move at night.
Lots of Whoopers moved off Lincolnshire coast this morning heading NW



Thursday March 18th 2021 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria.
Watch 0630 to 1030hrs - Wind: NNE 2mph, 5c (felt more like 1c much colder than the past few days, 0.mm rain, 94% to 75% variant cloud level. 1033mb pressure.

Yet again another quiet one, thats the trouble with high pressure it might be OK for drying and sunshine but plays havoc with bird numbers especially during early migration. Yet thankfully other stories took hold.  Next to me a male Blackbird came and alighted right at the very top of the tree and starting singing away, just like a Song Thrush would with variant calls, perhaps not just has clear or sharp or refined as a Song Thrush but nevertheless it was still good, but what made my ears prick up it did a fine rendition of the Lapwing call (only part call) but sure enough clear as clear on that particular song.  I can only think it is picking it up from the nearby fields which have Lapwings calling most of the time.  I have never heard anything like this before in all my time birding. 

Also there has been a pair of male Chaffinches fighting now for about 3 days, I am surprised there is a feather left on either of them after their frolocking mid air tumbles, fighting high as well (not quite high like a Skylark), but certainly at 50ft and then a directly tumble downward whilst locked together, interesting they are sustaining a perfect plumage!

Meadow Pipit: 24 nw (2,2,1,6,2,1,2,2,3,3.) first bird 0650hrs
Chaffinch: 3 se (1,2) first bird 0629hrs.
Linnet: 26 nw (4,10,12)
Skylark: 10 nw (2,3,4,1.)
Alba Wagtail: 1 nw



Wednesday March 17th 2021 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria. 
Wind: NNE 3-5mph, 3c, 0.0mm rain, 100% cloud dropping to 30%, 1034mb pressure. 0630hrs to 1030hrs.

Quiet sort of morning, a little better from 0930hrs on, but never really got going

Meadow Pipit: 31 nw (2,1,2,1,1,1,1,3,1,5,2,1,5,1,3,1) first bird 0636hrs
Linnet: 16 nw (4,12)
Chaffinch: 17 se
Alba Wagtail: 2 nw (1,1)
Skylark: 4 (1w 3nw)
Starling: 74 (70 e and 4 n)
Fieldfare: 1 e

Locals, Curlew, Lapwing, Oystercatcher, Song Thrush, GSWoodpecker, Green Woodpecker, LBBG, Woodpigeon, Blackbirds, Dunnocks etc.

also I did another check from 1430hrs to 1530hrs, very different to late check yesterday.  Today NO birds whatsoever.....


Tuesday March 16th 2021, Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria.
Wind: W 7-15mph 7c, 0.8mm rain at start, and finished by 0700hrs, 100% cloud but 50% and blue skies by 0930hrs. 1024mb pressure.  Mist came in to perimeters for 75% of watch until about 0930hrs which by then cleared. 

I thought it was going to be great today with starting numbers of Mipits a 8 and a 4 party, but this was just purely a starter because I never got any further Mipits for at least one hour, but as the mist thinned out the birds started trickling through. 

Meadow Pipit: 30 nw (1,8,4,1,1,2,1,2,1,2,1,6.) first bird 0711 and very high
Linnet: 30 nw (13,7,10)
Chaffinch: 6 (3se and 3nw)
Alba Wagtail: 6 (4se and 2nw)
Curlew: 13 se (one party)
Brent Goose: 2 nw (and low)

Also a short count 1430hrs to 1530hrs
Meadow Pipit: 21 nw (1,2,1,1,4,1,1,2,2,2,2,2,1)
Alba Wagtail: 1nw
Linnet: 23nw (11,7,5)
Chaffinch: 6nw (4,2)

Yesterdays notes at other areas:
Steady stream of Mipits heading North over Carnforth Marsh. Eg: 80 in half hour at 1000hrs (Nick Godden - LDBWS)
Good numbers of Mipits along the Lune between Aldcliffe and Conder Green (Barrie Cooper - LDBWS)



Monday March 15th 2021, Vicarage Ln, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria.
Wind: NW 5-9mph, 3c, 0.mm rain, 24% cloud, 1018mb pressure. 0630hrs to 1000hrs.

It started off OK today with obvious movement especially with the Mipits and the Linnets. Also the alba's have started... Its just the start so only trickles as yet, but will get going now.  "What a beautiful morning welcoming the Mipits back"

Meadow Pipit: 20 (19nw and 1n) (2,3,2,1,3,1,3,2,1,1.)
Linnet: 33nw (12,6,11,4.)
Chaffinch: 8se (1,2,1,2,1,1)
Alba Wagtail: 7nw (2,2,2,1)
Skylark: 1nw
Goose: 1w at 0657hrs

Locals: Lapwing 2 (paired), Curlews, Song Thrush and lots of Dunnocks in the hedgerows.



Sunday March 14th 2021, Vicarage Ln, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria.
Wind: WNW 10-26mph, 3c, 0.mm rain, 48% Cloud, 1008mb pressure. 0630hrs to 0815hrs. Very overcast throughout - winds more like 10-12mph.

Another rediculously quiet morning with just a scattering. But I have had reports from lads in Yorkshire and Manchester and they were getting Mipits in the tune of 50 over 3 hours averaging, so obviously things have started.

Linnet: 8nw (0735)
Meadow Pipit: 1nw
Chaffinch: 1se
Canada Goose: 3 se at (0733)
Lots of paired Woodpigeon and LBBG passing overhead.
Local: Lapwings, Mallard pair, Curlews 4 thought to be local. 


Saturday 13th March 2021, Vicarage Ln, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria. 
North West 15-28mph, 4c, 0.2mm rain, 100% Cloud, 987mb pressure.
0645hrs to 0815hrs. Occasional light rain off and on throughout, winds probably 12mph.

Even after the rest for the last few days allowing the heavy rains and strong winds to abate, it wasn't much better for the count this morning, but its got to start happening any day now and the coming week looks more interesting. I did have one or two bits and pieces listed below:

Linnet: 20nw (single party)
Chaffinch: 5 (3nw,2w)
Meadow Pipit: 2 nw
Starling: 12e (0658hrs)
Skylark: 4nw (one party - calling)
Alba Wagtail: 1nw
Collard Dove: 5se (one party)
Cormorant: 2s

Others regarded as local breeders:
Oystercatchers 2, Lapwings 2, Curlew 1.



Tuesday 9th March 2021, Vicarage Ln, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria.
South 7-15mph, 4c, 0.2mm rain, 100% cloud, 1018mb pressure. 0700hrs to 0800hrs. occasional slight drizzle or damp air. 

Absolutely nothing with the passerines, not a single Chaffinch or Mipit. The only movers today were a small group of Starlings just after first light. I think that might be it now for a couple of days!! (stormy weather approaching...)

Starling 9e (at 0648hrs) unsure whether ex roost or on move (probably latter)
Curlew: 1 local and calling
a few pigeons on the move and LBBG's.

Calling, Song Thrush and Green Woodpecker. 


Monday 8th March 2021, Vicarage Ln, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria
SW 8-16mph, 4c, 0.8mm rain, 100% cloud, 1022mb pressure. 0700hrs to 0730hrs then abandoned through Fog and heavy rain

Fogged out with vis down to about 50 yards, then continual heavy rain and obviously no birds.  Abandoned watch after 30 minutes (0730hrs), will hopefully try again later in the morning. 

Checked out again at 1030hrs, status moved to light rain/drizzle, but visibility still down to 50/75 yards.  Watched for 30 mins up to 1100hrs but still no birds. 


Sunday 7th March 2021, Vicarage Ln, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria
N/NE 1-2 mph, 1c, 0.mm rain, 95% cloud, 1026mb pressure 0715 - 0815hrs

Another coolish day, but again no wind and little in the way of birds. The only really interesting record today was a party of 7 Curlew in a tight formation heading to the SE.

Chaffinch: 3 (2se and 1nw)
Woodpigeon: 16 (6se, 14w)
Curlew: 7 se (one group calling tight formation)

Also:
Large numbers of Meadow Pipits moving Portland, Weymouth etc.
1000 Chaffinch on the move in Kent. 



Saturday 6th March 2021, Vicarage Ln, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria
SE 1-2mph, 1c, 0.mm rain, 95% cloud, 1036mb pressure. 0700hrs - 0930hrs

A coolish morning and so still with little movement eg: no Linnets and little in the way of Chaffinch.  Two skeins of Geese, but the jewel in the crown has to be the  start and first movement of the Meadow Pipits which went  either West (unusual) or North West (usual). 

Meadow Pipit: 8 (7w/sw in one group), 1nw (all from 0915 on)
Chaffinch: 3se
Skylark: 34 se (2,26,6)
Curlew: 2n
Woodpigeon: 9 (8se and 1nw)
Geese: 50 n (20n at 0730hrs and 30n at 0745hrs) (came up from coast SW and heading n) too far away for id.
Lots of LBBGulls heading mainly NW but some SE

Also:
Local was Lapwing (1) on territory, GSWoodpecker drumming, Song Thrush singing out of Lancelot, Oystercatcher (1) on territory

It's always worth checking:


Friday 5th March 2021, Vicarage Ln, Burton In Kendal.
NE 6-10mph, 2c 0730hrs to 0845hrs.

Still nothing happening with the Mipits with none recorded today although this will drastically change over the next week or so, But yet a very nice 30 plus Skylarks and the Chaffinch have started up today plus other bits and pieces.

Skylark: 34 (30nw one party, plus 4se)
Chaffinch: 31 (27se and 4nw)
Mistle Thrush: 4s
Linnet: 69 (presumed 25 to nw on move but all others local eg: 10,15,7,12)
Woodpigeon: 6 se (4,2)

Also: 
Song Thrush in full song Lancelot, Green Woodpecker yaffling from Dalton hamlet area, LAPWING 3 on territory dive bombing one another, Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming nearby. 

Lapwing: there always has to be 3 with 2 dive bombing their spoils, with deep fluty "begger offs" she's mine is miss pretty....



Thursday 4th March 2021, Vicarage Ln, Burton In Kendal 

0800hrs to 0845hrs
Linnet 30 (20 one party to NW others perhaps local
Skylark one party 15 to NW
Curlew: 3 (1NW and 2 SE)
Chaffinch: 4 NW

also a Song Thrush singing in LCS but doing a Curlew imitation, also Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming.  Still no Mipits going through here, although told by friends they are going through to the North in East Lancs.

Monday 15th February 2021 - Vic Lane Burton

0900hrs Tree Sparrow singing in Electric Sub-Station
0940hrs 3 Cormorant to South/SW

Friday 12th February 2021 - Holme and Slape Lane Burton

0815hrs single group of 150 Lapwing to E
from Holme and heading over towards Farleton Fell

Thursday 11th February 2021 - Slape Lane or Vicarage Lane

1100hrs group of 5 LAPWING to SE
1300hrs group of 4 LAPWING to E

It is very difficult to establish whether these birds were on a cold weather movement or are they just returning birds to their upland territories which usually happens at this time of year?

If you want to check some old records for comparisons please click over any of the following links:-














Probably my favourite experience of all during 2020 was:

My recent contribution to a local rag:
Currently enjoying vismig (visible bird migration) from over on Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal, from first light each morning between September and November. I just missed by a few days getting this next report in last month’s rag.
If only you had witnessed the 4017 Meadow Pipits that came over on Thursday September 24th, with parties (some over 100) on each side of the lane at the same time and this went on solid from 0655hrs, and by 0845hrs I had already counted no less than 3,200 birds, with the other 800 birds crossing over in the rain before I called it a do by 1300hrs. Just think they were coming through that thick and fast you hardly had chance to write them all down, and it felt pure excitement whipping your head from one side to the other to catch more and more parties coming through from both sides. It really is something special to witness this, and they were low which made you feel they were almost within touching distance. You do not get it like this every year it was just one of those special moments when you can say you were in the right place at the right time and all atmospheric conditions were approved etc etc etc….
A little more recent on Wed Oct 14th turned out to be the main Thrush arrivals when I had nearly 13,000 birds between 0715hrs and 1400hrs, the bulk of the birds were Fieldfares (7,086) and Redwing (5721) all going in a North West direction heading to what appeared to be the distant slope of Farleton Knott. I had single mega parties of 530 birds, 2x400, 1x360 and another 40 parties of numbers between 100 and 300. It was so busy the birds “peppered” the skies and it could be difficult at times to be able to determine their sizes of which were the larger Fieldfare against the smaller Redwing. Little “chacking” going on and not much of that “see-iping” but they moved through with stealth and grace and what a site for sore eyes! I tried to give thought to how many miles these birds would have travelled in the past 48 hours to get here. Most will have come across from Scandinavia, with some from much further afield and they would have had to time their crossing of the North Sea so they met with the least resistance. Some enter the UK from more northerly directions like Hartlepool and the North East whilst the majority chose their entry from down in Lincolnshire and Norfolk to afford them the shortest crossings.
This year in particular I feel sorry for these birds having travelled so far hoping to experience trees with multitudes of berries at their disposal. Though that’s not how it is! The cupboard is bare I’m afraid! In fact it is probably the worst year I have ever known for the hawthorn berries of which this area is usually so well known. From what I understand it’s been a bad year all round, the beech mast is not that good either and the Chaffinch and Brambling visitors will also find it hard, mind you last year was so special with the mast it was what you call a every 5 yearly “Mast Year”. Damsons have not done well either. Hopefully there will be plenty of apples.
This year I feel like the Chaffinch have deserted us good and proper! Well at least the migrants, I have hardly had any in comparison to recent past years. Yet I am still getting plenty of the little cheeky fellows the Linnets which on most days I get at least 200 passing through with odd days to the 600 mark.
First thing I usually get large numbers of Starlings at around 0750hrs, with numbers sometimes in their thousands, all heading East out to Kirkby, Whittington etc to do a day’s foraging. They are the same birds which would earlier have been cuddled up together on the stalks of phragmites reeds whilst they roosted over at Leighton Moss or Silverdale Moss. I also like having a stroll up Vicarage Lane at around 5pm when you see them coming back and if you are lucky there will be several thousand’s heading through.