Friday 17 October 2014

Winter is here

Well, at least winter thrushes are. It finally happened during the early part of this week; Redwings seemed to be everywhere as they arrived in force, with flocks moving inland very quickly. Ring Ouzels also moved bang on cue, but in impressive numbers – over 500 were recorded at Dungeness, Kent on 14 October, and 150 were counted heading out to sea at Foreness, also in Kent. The BirdTrack graph shows just how bang on cue they were.

BirdTrack graph showing reporting rate for Ring Ouzel

Other birds on the move included Goldcrests and Robins but in much smaller numbers. Bramblings have also started to put in an appearance. We might have to wait a little longer for a large arrival of these, the weather for most of next week will put us firmly in a westerly airflow.

Goldcrest by Jill Pakenham

Things were much quieter on the rarity front, however, Britain’s seventh Audouin’s Gull was found at Dungeness, probably pushed north by the strong southerly airflow of last weekend.
The first big movement of Woodpigeons was recorded earlier in the week too; on the other side of the North Sea. Over 40,000 were counted migrating through Falsterbo, Sweden on the 14 October. Again, we will have to wait for clear conditions and some east in the wind before we see anything like that sort of movement here. The largest counts of Woodpigeons on the move here are often made during the first two weeks of November.

So, what might we expect nest week? The west and south-west ought to be the place to be, and we could well receive one or two American vagrants off the back of Hurricane Gonzalo, which is due to leave the North American seaboard on Sunday morning, arriving here, although having lost a lot of its energy, around lunchtime on Monday. As I am going to be on the Isles of Scilly next week I am hoping for anything from across the Atlantic, although I would love to see a Black-and-white Warbler. During quieter spells visible migration should pick-up again and we ought to see more Fieldfares in the mix of thrushes.

by Paul Stancliffe

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.