Wednesday 12th October 2011
Breezy west winds, warm, dry, overcast.
Well it wasn't a classic day of finches moving, but it was still a good day. I arrived at Chambers Wall just before 8am and headed straight to the railway embankment. Marc Heath was already there, having a pre-work visit, but it was obvious straight away not much was happening yet.
I wandered slowly east towards Shuart and fairly soon a few small flocks of Goldfinches flew past, with a few Siskins amongst them. Then a bit of luck, just south of the railway a flock of 18 Crossbills flew west, and shortly after a fantastic moment when 14 Crossbills flew west low along the embankment at head height, calling all the way, weaving in and out of the bushes as they went by. I followed them as the went away and I could see the lovely red males in the flock.
In total I spent 3 and a half hours drifting east, then back to Chambers Wall, and most of the time small flocks of finches were flying by, mainly Goldies and Siskins; as time went by more and more Chaffinches were migrating past, and I had another Crossbill flock.
I came across a Long-tailed Tit flock. As mentioned before, it can be quite exciting to stand among the flock and not only enjoy these lovely birds, but search through the flock to see what is being 'carried' with them. Today was no exception, as well as Blue and Great Tits, there were 4 or 5 Chiffchaffs, and best of all a stunning little Firecrest.
Totals today flying west:
12 Song Thrushes, 43 Skylarks, 7 Meadow Pipits, 247 Goldfinches, 216 Siskins, 5 Redpoll, 54 Crossbills, 153 Chaffinches, 16 Greenfinches, 8 Reed Buntings.
Also seen were 12 Chiffchaffs, 1 Common Buzzard, 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Sparrowhawk, 20 Long-tailed Tits, 1 Firecrest, 60 Lapwing and 8 Golden Plover. Great stuff.