Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Snapping up the flies

It turned out to be a fantastic Autumn day today, one for short sleeves and a sun hat! There were certainly birds around, but I wasn't too good at connecting with all of them.

The Paddock (the white plastic fence has gone and been replaced by good old fashioned WOOD), had lots of warblers acting as flycatchers. Along one hedge I counted ten Blackcaps making periodic sorties into the air, presumably after some of the large number of flying insects making the most of the hot sunshine.

In the same area the snapping of bills could be heard as the remaining Chiffchaffs continued on their protein feast before moving south. These are all very nice, but there was a lack of other warblers such as the Yellow-browed or Greenish, that were around in the last few days but completely alluded me.

I met Gerald, and he was on a long tour round and had already racked up eight Firecrest among the many Goldcrests around. I think by the end of the trip round the patch he'd got to over 30, a great count. I managed to hear a couple and briefly glimpse one, but each time a Crest popped out for a picture, it was a Goldcrest. There very nice but I have to admit they'd lose out in a beauty contest to the Firecest, which is surely one to the most stunning of British birds.

In the warm sunshine there were quite a few butterflies around. Mostly Small Whites and Red Admirals, but the occasional Comma was found, feeding on Ivy or Bramble.

When I'd finished my walk at Bockhill I popped into St Margaret's Farm on Napchester Road. On top of one of the barns a small collection of Pied Wagtails had gathered. Although it wasn't late enough for them to be going to roost, it was possible it was the start of a pre-roost gathering. Pied Wagtails. like Starlings, are a species that likes to roost in large numbers. Roosts of over 500 used not to be uncommon, although I've not heard of any that large of late. They are worth watching out for, and they often used the roofs of industrial buildings.

Dewick's Pusia. Yesterday I asked the question -who was Dewick, and today Julian Russell has provided the answer, he wrote:
named after AJ Dewick who famously trapped in Essex. First found in the UK by A.J. Dewick at Bradwell-on-Sea, Essex, in October 1951."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Tony, Thanks for your reports and photos. I am based in Kingsdown, and would love to go and see the firecrests! Where are you/yr friend seeing them?
Many thanks