Sunday, March 24, 2013

migbashing in january

Today was freezing! Not as cold as the arctic conditions across the pond in englandshire but still way too cold to be looking for migs surely? It felt like the middle of January! with added wind chill! And yet there were birds about! And quite a few of them!

A male blackcap was an early bonus, and then the phylloscs took over, with c. 20 chiffchaffs and 2 willow warblers gleaned over the next hour or so (86). Most were working hedgerows and ditches on the sheltered side, trying to avoid getting iced by the savage wind, as was I!!

After a bit longer, the lure of cups of tea & warmth got too strong and I headed for home. Two warbler year ticks tho - pretty good for January!!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Springwatch

The very first hint of spring movement happened yesterday afternoon when a chiffchaff hopped and hooweted its way around the garden. The first official mig of 2013! Wasn't that confident that there'd be much doing this morning, as was still feeling pretty cold. However, the birding gods were on my side, as a male wheatear finally popped up just when I was about to give up, and then, while stalking the wheatear, a black redstart flew past! Bingo! Migrants galore!

Managed at least 3 chiffchaffs heading back towards Shite Lane, and then rounded Springwatch off nicely with my first swallow of the year over the lake (84) - 4 year ticks in the last two days! Spring must be here after all!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

No migs yet

A lovely spring morning at Galley and I spent a pleasant 2 hours hoofing round the patch seeing very little! But it felt like there was always a chance of something; a wheatear, a hoopoe, or a great spotted cuckoo, which is the first time there's been any hope of a migrant since late October.

A scan of the lake this lunchtime, and the long-staying female long-tailed duck is still here. Did score a bonus half dozen black-tailed godwits in with the curlew flock (79), which was nice - can be tricky enough to get on the year list, so good to get them out of the way early on.

Exciting times ahead! Bring on the spring!