Thursday, 4 October 2012

A trickle becomes a flood - briefly

I’m absolutely rubbish when it comes to navigating my way around the night sky so I ended up not convinced that I saw Dwarf Planet Ceres or Uranus when I gave the universe a couple of hours last night before a rain front came in.
Luckily it did not hold a lot of rain so my walk at Draycote Water with Bob to toft shallows was very pleasant if somewhat cooler than of late. Most of the hirundines had cleared out leaving just a handful of Swallows and House Martins while 20+Meadow Pipits, Grey Wagtail and Wheatear were already getting irritated by the constant flow of human disturbance. We managed the male Common Scoter off draycote bank, juvenile Yellow-legged Gull on J buoy and the Black-necked Grebe in toft bay but only a trickle of migrants mainly Meadow Pipits and the odd swallow going south. As Bob continued on his circuit  I doubled back and located 2 Goldcrest and a female/juv Siskin feeding in toft shallows while 2 Jays went west. We already had one go east when we first arrived and Bob found another in biggen bay. As the sky’s brightened there was a sudden rush of migrants as hundreds poured over presumably re-orientating themselves after avoiding the weather front. In 30 minutes the bulk had gone over just leaving a few stragglers. My final count was 140 Siskin including a 36 in one flock, 440 Meadow Pipits, 200 finches – probably Chaffinch, 40 Skylark, 30 wagtails, single flava, 5 Redwing, 15 Swallow and 3 House Martin. No noticeable movement of pigeons or starlings yet.
Bob rang to say he had found a juvenile male Scaup – the white blasé threw us off the scent for a second so had to dragged the books out when we got home just to confirm what we thought we knew.
Other sightings included 3 Buzzard, Raven 2 Sparrowhawk and a Great-spotted Woodpecker while Bob added 40+ Long-tailed Tit along with another 5 Goldcrest and Chiffchaff to the day list. Hopefully the BNG survived the onslaught from fishing boat 17 crewed by master bates who persisted in drifting past the orange buoys on several occasions in to the conservation area flushing everything.

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