Thursday 20th October 2011
Sunny, cold, w/n/w breeze
I set off from my usual spot at Chambers Wall this morning around 8am, walking up to the railway crossing, then slowly north to Coldharbour. There were finches starting to move west again today, and i stopped to listen to some Redpolls when a Short-eared Owl flew from the reeds at the side of the path. I was slightly startled but enjoyed watching this cracking bird for a few minutes befor eit dropped into another reed bed near the seawall. Only a few yards further on and a 2nd bird flew from the reeds and drifted away to the west of Coldharbour, before dropping down into scrub. Even better, just a little further on and another Short-eared Owl came in off the sea high over my head. Cracking stuff.
For a change I walked west along the seawall to the oyster farm, and along the Green Wall inland, then back towards Chambers Wall along the embankment. On a clear day the sun is straight in your face walking east early in the morning, but i had walked so slowly this morning the sun had moved to the south.
I started counting finches again, and anyone who enjoys the vis mig on days when large numbers of birds are moving through will tell you how exciting it is, and how the hours just drift past. I did eventually make my way back to the car about 2 o'clock, watching 8 Crossbills fly overhead whilst having a coffee, and with another page filled with records of birds:
38 Skylarks, 93 Goldfinches, 8 Greenfinches, 182 Siskins, 54 Redpoll, 10 Crossbills, 20 Linnets, 97 Chaffinches, 17 Reed Buntings, 3 Pied Wagtails, 660 Fielfares, 42 Redwing, 3 Bearded Tits all moving west. Also seen were 6 Goldcrests, 1 Peregrine, 1 Merlin, 3 Kestrels, 1 Sparrowhawk, and a Little Owl. Back at the car a Robin was singing away:
The only downer today was my car failed to start and i had to call the RAC to tow me home. A failed petrol pump was the cause.