Monday, 29 September 2008

Vis Migging

I didn't hurry this morning as the weather looked rather dubious so it was about 8.00 am when I stared to walk round the Paddock behind the monument today.

Almost immediately I was struck by the volume of noise a large flock of House martins was making above my head. I estimated that this compact flock, moving North consisted of at least 400 birds, and not long after another flock of similar size move through. Swallows were around, but at this time they were heavily outnumbered by House Martins. Al the time this was going on flocks of Siskins were passing over and Meadow Pipits and Pied Wagtails were moving through in smaller groups. Although there were no rarities, there is still something exciting watching visible migration with large numbers of birds moving through.

Around the farm numbers of Goldcrests seemed to have greatly reduced, although there were still quite a few Chiffchaffs. The Pied Flycatcher that has been in the area was still there, or was until I got my camera ready, when it promptly disappeared. Along the path by the Freedown various Chats and allies were using the fence to hunt from. The Wheatear above seemed to be having a good shuffle to get its feathers sorted out.

Robin numbers have increased hugely over the last few days and there were still three Common Redstarts in the area. At one time a Robin and a Redstart shared one bit of fence before dropping into the grass after an insect or spider.

The last few days have seen several Stonechats return and there were three in the Freedown area.

The large field stretch to the cliffs has just been sown and today it was full of birds. A flock of Linnets numbered over two hundred, perhaps up to four, and there were at least 15 Wheatears.
Scanning the field there were hundreds of Meadow Pipits and up to about twenty Pied Wagtails. I think the bird above is a first winter.

We tried hard to find something exciting among the Meadow Pipits, but all to no avail. Somewhere out there is a "big" pipit waiting to be found, I hope it's still there in the morning!

Clancy's Rustic (Platyperigea kadenii)

There were a couple of moths worth noting this morning, another Dark Sword Grass and my first Clancy's Rustic of the year. Clancy's Rustic is a fairly recent colonist in Southern England, the first one being caught by Sean Clancy in 2002.

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