12 Oct 2015

12 Oct 15 - Equalling The Studland & Ballard Patch Year List Record

With a run of favourable winds at South Haven, I've been Vis Migging there for eight mornings so far this month. This has produced some great movements North of Finches with good numbers of Siskins, with over 500 moving for the last three mornings. Most of the other 'standard' Finches have been on the move, including nearly 600 Goldfinches on 10 Oct. Crossbills have been regular visitors this Autumn with 1 on 1 Oct, 17 on 3 Oct & 13 on 11 Oct. There has been a regular movement of Pied Wagtails and Meadow Pipits, with the occasional more interesting species including Grey Wagtails, Yellow Wagtails & Tree Pipits. Swallows & House Martins are still on the move: numbers vary from day to day with up to a few hundred on some mornings, but very few on other days. There have been a few more interesting, but expected species moving as well, including small numbers of Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Skylarks, Chiffchaffs, Goldcrests, Great Tits, Jackdaws & Starlings. We also get a few Sparrowhawks moving North each Autumn & this year is no exception, with three in the last two days. More interestingly was a migrant Buzzard on 2 Oct (typically there is about one migrant an Autumn).
Sparrowhawk: Old Harry (4 Sep 15)
Today, was the start of the annual Thrush movements with 41 Redwings & 41 Song Thrushes heading North, with another 41 unidentified Redwings or Song Thrushes. Handfuls of the first Fieldfares & Blackbirds were also on the move today. Hopefully more Thrushes will be seen over the next few days.
Yellow-browed Warbler: Having to use my library photos as I accidentally dropped the new Canon 7D & 400mm lens & both are currently with the repairers getting some essential TLC. Durlston (24 Oct 14)
But the highlights of October so far have been on 2 Oct & today. On 2 Oct a Yellow-browed Warbler joined the Chiffchaffs in trying to cross the harbour mouth. It gave up & returned to the nearest trees, where it was heard calling a couple of times, before disappearing back into the bushes surrounding the South Haven pool. About an hour later, a Hawfinch went over giving its 'seep' flight call. Both were patch Year Ticks.
Tree Sparrow: Dungeness (8 Mar 14)
Then today, two Tree Sparrows joined the Finch movement North. This was followed about thirty minutes later with three more probably Tree Sparrows which circled, before heading back South again. Later a male House Sparrow went North, which is even rarer as a Vis Mig migrant here than the Tree Sparrows for me (only my third, compared to my fourteenth Tree Sparrow). The Tree Sparrows took the Studland/Ballard patch Year List to 176 which equally my best ever patch Year List in 2009. With eleven weeks left of the year & two pretty certain species expected in the next few days: Ring Ousel & Brambling, then I shouldn't have any problem beating the 2009 record. I'm looking forward to the next few weeks.

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