Sunday, 23 October 2011

Finches galore - but no Bluetail

Monday 17th October
Light S/W winds, becoming stronger through the morning. Mild, dry, sunny.

I returned on Sunday night after 4 days away in Spain. Flying out on the Thursday I was aware of the change in the winds, and I feared the worst. The whole autumn until now has been pants, and the weekend i'm away it goes mad. The messages I received while out the country were of Dusky, Pallas's and Yellow-browed Warblers, and of course the bird I have long dreamed of finding myself (I alweays knew one would turn up one day) a Red-flanked Bluetail.

Clear skies Sunday night suggested everything would be gone on my return, and sure enough on Monday there wre no 'specials' to be seen. I set off from Chambers Wall car park around 7.30am, and made my way up to the railway embankment. There was plenty of vis mig so I wandered west then back east slowly along the embankment, counting the flocks of finches heading mostly west, or south-west.

My note book was full of numbers of birds seen, and it really was a fantastic spectacle, thouroughly enjoyable, and a little consolation for missing the Sibes. I stayed until 2.30pm, and totals below are from 7 hours on my own:

Redpoll 139, Siskin 419, Goldfinch 349, Crossbill 40, Chaffinch 354, Linnet 12, Grey Wagtail 1, Pied Wagtail 33, Starling 660, Skylark 64, Song Thrush 33, Meadow Pipit 23, Reed Bunting 47

Also seen on my wander were:
Bearded Tit 6, Swallow 1, Cetti's 2, Kingfisher 1, Sparrowhawk 3, Marsh Harrier 2 and a single Peregrine.

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