Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Wagtail bath time

There are always various influxes of birds at this time of year. Some are repeated year after year, with little noted variation and others are less predictable and involve species that have periodic irruptions.

We always get a few Bramblings visiting the garden in  October and so far this year has been unexceptional with one or two birds appearing each day for the last week or so.

Goldfinches are regular migrants and we record good numbers while watching visible migration from the cliff top. We normally get a small influx in the garden but last year was exceptional and in early November the feeding flock had reached well over 200 birds, making feeding them an expensive occupation. So far the numbers have not peaked at more than about 50 birds, although yesterday the feeders were all fully occupied and I made a makeshift feeder that had up 20 birds feeding in front of the window. Time will tell if they increase to last years numbers.

It's always difficult with birds like Jays. We normally get a few visits and I haven't yet been convinced that the large numbers that we've seen moving through have so far affected the numbers in the garden. There are certainly still a lot around and they are most noticeable close to the sea.

Today, at Kingsdown, Jays were extremely visible, flying from the trees along the bottom of the cliff out to some of the bushes on the shingle.Unfortunately while I was there the Siberian Chiffchaff  wasn't visible.

One bird that I have noticed as being far more numerous round the village than usual is the Pied Wagtail. I think that I may have found one of the new attractions for then. On a couple of fields along Pond Lane large piles of some sort of sludge have appeared, I don't like to speculate on the source, but they appear to be very attractive to Pied Wagtails. I presume that this is because they have a large number of insects associated with them.

With all the rain there are some large puddles at the bottom of the heaps and the Wagtails are making good use of them.
Fortunately Pond Lane has little traffic so I was able to use the car as a hide and watch a series of Wagtails going through their ablutions.

There are other birds also attracted to the area so it may be worth watching in the hope that I can turn up something good there.

No comments: