Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Stackpole this morning - some diurnal migration

A walk from the 8 Arch Bridge to Stackpole Warren and west along the coast to Broadhaven and return up the Eastern Arm path was reasonably productive.

Two firecrests were first heard and then seen well, about two thirds of the way down the lower eastern arm path - a typical location for them. They were feeding in the lakeside sycamores and holm oaks where there was also a small mixed flock of blue tits, chiffchaffs, goldcrests and chaffinches. There seemed to be quite a few goldcrests and chiffchaffs feeding in the lakes-side trees this morning.

Out on the warren, it was clear that there was some diurnal migration taking place at around mid-morning. In c.30 minutes along the coast (between Raming Hole and Saddle Point) not less that 250 hirundines (c. 70% swallows and c.30% sand martins) were moving quickly east.

Small numbers of skylarks  (probably less than 50) also appeared to be heading the same way. Small flocks of siskins were audibly on the move all morning. Some were stopping briefly to feed in the pines at the back of the warren, before moving on. It was difficult to say how many birds were involved but several flocks of c. 3-10 probably went through the area during a couple of hours.

A few grey wagtails were also heading east along the coast this morning. Late last week there was a similar pattern of easterly grey wagtail movement down the Mere Pool valley from just after dawn for a couple of hours. Possibly in excess of 20 individuals being seen then (noted when checking overnight moth catches at light-traps with Paul Culyer and Robin Taylor).

There were plenty of wheatears along the coast at Stackpople today, in excess of 20 between Raming Hole and Saddle Point alone. Two whinchats were also perching on isolated scrub patches on Saddle Point. I managed a poor photograph of one of them, but equipped only with a small macro lens on a compact camera I wasn't expecting to photograph birds - Lepidoptera and Hymenoptera being the main targets.
One of two whinchats on Saddle Point this morning

Feathered Brindle was a nice catch in one of Robin's light-traps this morning