Tuesday, 28 October 2008

At last, some proper late autumn migration!

Heysham Obs
The nearctic element to this autumn leading to a run on "Bring back Atlantis" (providing its in the Western Palearctic) T-shirts - it should be easier to get to than Corvo, has somewhat masked the fact that the last fortnight or even three weeks has been absolute rubbish at most observatories, other than the trickle-down of the earlier huge Yellow-browed Warbler influx into the northern British Isles and a Grey Phal-fest for some. The exception was the short North Sea-crossing window on about 16th-17th which was the reason we had an influx of Redwing and Fieldfare battling against westerlies on this side on 18th-19th. Today, at last, some normal October service was resumed with a calm frosty morning. The missing element this morning was evidence of trans-North Sea migrants with few thrushes other than the first relatively significant dawn Blackbird arrival of the autumn. [NB news just received: radar observations at Skegness detected some movement this morning post dawn and also at midday today] It looks like the North Sea corridor will open again the the next day or two and Norwegian reports indicate the possibility of Waxwings being included in the fare............and the latest pager messages (1430ish) already seem to be bearing this out (several east coast sites scoring between north Yorks and Norfolk).

Vis mig 0730-1015ish (quite a few gaps)
Brambling - flock of 6 SW first thing - sorry forgot to post!
Pink-footed Goose - 125+110+75+36 S/SE
Whooper Swan - 3+17 SE (second flock very high)
Jackdaw - flock of 9 S (& 8 Carrion Crow)
Carrion Crow - 3+4+8 (see above) S
Chaffinch - 44 SW
Goldfinch - 15 SW
Greenfinch - only 18 SW
Reed Bunting - 1 S
Skylark - 26 SE
Bullfinch - 1 high to S
Siskin - 5 SE
alba Wagtail - 4 SE
Meadow Pipit - 1+2+4 SE (late for this spp)
Twite - 5 'in-off' joining the NHW flock (see below)
Linnet - 2 S
Redwing - just 2 SW
Woodpigeon - 37 S/SW
Song Thrush - 2 S

Grounded migrants/movement at a lower level than above
Long-tailed Tit - at least 120 passed through generally to the south in 7 definitely different flocks, possibly at least two more unduplicated flocks
Coal Tit - at least 16 migrants to the south (plus two more sedate ringed birds)
Chiffchaff - a greyish individual which remained silent
Goldcrest - absolute minimum of 20 around the office with at least a further 10 down Moneyclose Lane
Blackbird - 30+ first thing - most flew inland
Blue Tit - 2 unringed birds trapped but no obvious movement
Wheatear - one on the NHwall mound (thanks John!)

North harbour wall
Twite - maximum of 36 during 10mins of observation, including 5 'in-off'
Linnet - one
Med Gull - 3 adults
Shag - at least three juveniles scattered around near high tide

Arctic Tern - juv still present mid afternoon

Drake Scaup Conder Pool, also Common Sandpiper still in the area plus 2 Greenshank [no sign Common Scoter]