Saturday, 19 March 2011

Chaffinch Saturday

All this week the number of Chaffinches feeding in the garden has been high. I have been waiting for them to be joined by other migrant finches, but so far no luck

Anyone birding around the Kent coast this morning will soon have been aware of a huge movement of Chaffinches, heading north into a light breeze, as Phil Chantler recently told the KOS at an indoor meeting, this is the ideal condition for migrating birds. At Bockhill this movement was witnessed by the regulars, and Gerald, had the privilege today of recording the number of birds passing over. According to the Bockhill page on the KOS site there were more than 6750 in the four hours from 6.30 am, he must have used a lot of ink!

I have often wondered if the flock of Chaffinches in the garden at this time of year were apretty much the same birds from day to day, or whether there was a large turn over each day. I suspect that with the huge numbers of birds moving through there is quite a rapid change. In addition this morning we were treated to some close views of Buzzards, along with some more distant ones, and a Woodcock flew over the large filed very close to us. Considering a Peregrine was also cruising the area this Woodcock was lucky it wasn't spotted, as the last one I watched here ended up in the talons of a Peregrine. Other birds on the move included a few Siskins and Linnets with a scattering of meadow Pipits and Bramblings, and a White Wagtail did land for a few seconds, attracting a few long lenses, before moving on.

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