Friday, 15 October 2010

A Golden morning

The fairly light NW wind seemed to be perfect for the large movement of finches and Swallows along the coast today, They were mostly moving into the breeze, moving roughly north. In the case of Swallows this does seem contra to what you would expect.

In an hour and a half form 8 a.m we had approximately 1600 Goldfinches heading up the coast. These were the ones we saw, and at time we were aware of flock that had dropped below the top of the cliff and out of sight. Even though we moved away from the "vis Mig" area to look through the rest of the patch, we were aware of groups over head all day. My personal belief is the 20 per minute is probably too low, but assuming this was the rate for 6 hours from 7 am there would have been 7,200 through in that period. The spectacle of groups, mainly of between 10 to 40 birds regularly passing though is spectacular, even if you are a regular watcher here, but today we were joined by Guy Bailey from Dartford, who was witnessing a Bockhill "vis-mig" watch for the first time, so hopefully it made up for the fact that we failed to find any scare migrants today. There were also good numbers of Siskins moving either with the Goldfinches, or sometimes in small groups of their own.
In the hedges we found a few Redwings, as well as Song Thrushes and Blackbirds that may well have arrived recently from the continent, unhindered by the customary French strikes.

We've noticed an increase in the number of Jays in the area, and this was also remarked on by a couple of observant people in the village who often ask what we've seen and pass on their own observations.
The number of Red Admirals around still remains quite high, but I suppose that one or two really cold nights could put an end to those lingering into the late autumn.

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