Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Whinchat in the garden

Local patch: this morning as I opened my window, a huge cloud of swirling House Martins (mixed with some Swallows too) was calling overhead! I estimated about 250-300 birds, that remained in the wider area of Barcola for the whole morning. Clearly a migratory flock, arrived from who knows where! Several Robins in the gardens by now...singing their hearts out, early in the morning.
Today's top-bird was a WHINCHAT (1st winter) sitting on the top of plum-trees and perching on wires (see pics above). It's the first one in the garden this year! Always nice to see a Whinchat on your doorstep. Other birds during the "morning-check" included: 1 Chiffchaff in the garden (first of the season), 1 Short-toed Treecreeper, 1 Garden Warbler joined by 3 Blackcaps (1 m & 2 f).
The most unusual sighting was a flock of 44 UFOs on migration over the kasrtic ridge. As the flock was too far I couldn't identify the species, but the birds seemed Cormorant-styled, though very far and in a very disordered flock formation. Almost no wing-beats, just a long glide (wind-pushed actually) from E to W. Bah! I'll never know!
On the butterfly front single Red Admirals are regular now, with 1 or 2 Painted Ladies too.