Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Pass my ear trumpet!

Most of the Goldcrests and Chiffchaffs seem to have moved on and in general there were far fewer birds around. A group of four Stonechats on the Freedown along with hunting Kestrels and a Sparrowhawk did brighten very windy walk round the farm.

At the weekend a Yellow-browed Warbler was reported from Glebe Close, so I check round the area and up to the Cricket pitch. All I managed was a couple of Chiffchaffs and a Goldcrest and this single Herring Gull patrolling the Cricket Pitch.

Above Fan Bay I found a sheltered area with some gorse and hawthorns that always looks good for migrants. A tacking from a thicket did have me guessing for a while, for some reason it sounded extra loud, but of course it turned out to be a Blackcap, a fact that, I'm sure a few years ago, would have been immediately obvious. I hate getting old. I think the echo off the cliff behind must amplify the volume! The view out to sea was clear and Calais stood out in the distance. I wondered if a Honey Buzzard was identifiable from this distance; idle speculation until the Blackcap finally showed itself properly.

Where the fields were being ploughed and seeded there were hundreds of Crows and Gulls feeding. The crows were a mixture of Rooks, Jackdaws and Carrion Crows. There only seemed to be Herring Gulls, all the Mediterranean Gulls have disappeared and I couldn't find the rare Gull I hoped for. Surely out of the thousands of gulls in the area there musts at least be a Caspian Gull somewhere!
I quite liked this view of a Carrion Crow. It's strange how there is absolutely no detail on the right wing, but on the left side all the feather tracks of the under wing stand out. There are six lots of coverts and as well as the primaries and secondaries and the axillaries.

As the light faded the birds deserted to fields to go to roost. I don't know if they carry on feeding at night when there's a full moon, I know that Black-headed Gulls will feed at night if the moons bright enough.

The Gulls all flew out over the harbour, they may roost along the walls or perhaps on the water.

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