Monday, 30 September 2013

Visible Bird Migration - Chaffinch are the key players.

Showing the Swallow migration corridors (please click over to enlarge)
Friday 18th October 2013 - Visible Migration - over Slape Lane, Burton In Kendal.

0915hrs to 1015hrs. Wind Speed: 15-18mph, 10c, 100% cloud cover, 17200m visability, 1014 pressure.  All movement SE unless stated.

Chaffinch: 62 (8W 54SE), Alba Wagtail: 1SE, Meadow Pipit: 1SE, Brambling: 1SE, Fieldfare: 70N (ten minutes later came back and went down into Hutton Roof to feed up), Mistle Thrush: 2SE, Common Snipe: 3SE, Greenfinch: 2SE, Blackbird: 6SE, Woodpigeon: 12W.
Lots of singles and pairs of Thrushes coming through all the time and making to SE.

Thursday 17th October 2013 - Visible Migration - over Slape Lane, Burton In Kendal.

0730hrs to 0900hrs. Wind Speed: W 8-10mph. 10c to 11c, 75% reducing to 56%, 15000m visability increasing to 18700m. 1009mb pressure increasing to 1010mb. Very quiet again today.

Chaffinch: 114 (31W 83E), Redwing: 96 (in all directions), Blackbird: 1NW, Woodpigeon: 10SE, Starling 6W, Fieldfare: 21 (16SW, 5SE), Greylag Geese: 30S, Alba Wagtail: 1SE

Wednesday 16th October 2013 - Visible Migration - over Slape Lane, Burton In Kendal. 

0740hrs - 0930hrs. Wind Speed SE 12-15mph reducing to SE10mph. 7c increasing to 9c, 100% reducing to 50% cloud cover, 16700m reducing to 15200m. 1012mb pressure reducing to 1009mb. All movement South East unless stated.

Chaffinch: 116 (3W-113SE), Siskin: 8E (one party), Redwing: 42 (7N,5N,10N,10N,5SE,5SE), Goldfinch: 3, Starling: 5W (one party), Mistle Thrush: 4 (1W,3SE), Skylark 2

Tuesday 15th October 2013 - Visible Migration - over Slape Lane, Burton In Kendal.

0730hrs - 1030hours. Wind Speed: NE 12mph quickly decreasing to 5mph, 8-10c, 35% rising to 51% Cloud cover, 16500m rising to 18600m visability, 1010mb pressure.  All movement North unless stated. Steady flow of Redwings with a party every ten minutes or so.

Redwing: 1318 (27 parties best: 150,120,110,100) Fieldfare: 297 (8 parties: best 140,50,30,30). Chaffinch: 340 (102W- 238E) Mistle Thrush: 3, Woodpigeon: 12, Greenfinch: 1, Grey Wagtail: 2SE, Common Snipe: 2N, Starling: 15W, Skylark: 6.

A pair of Swallows were still on territory, certainly up to yesterday in Burton In Kendal. 

Sunday 13th October 2013 - Visible Migration - over Slape Lane, Burton In Kendal.

0740hrs - 0930hrs, Wind Speed: NNE 8-10mph, 9-10c, 95% rising to 96% Cloud cover, 14800m gaining to 18300m visability, 1018mb increase to 1016mb pressure.  All movement North or NNE unless stated. Very poor day with no thrush movement at all after checking at various times of the day. 

Redwing: 181,  Fieldfare: 2 Chaffinch: 43 (5W), Blackbird: 1NE, Swallow: 3E, Long TT:8 (probably local)

Saturday 12th October 2103 - Visible Migration over Slape Lane, Burton In Kendal.

0700hrs - 1000hrs, Wind Speed: NE 8-10mph, 7-11c, 37%-51% Cloud cover, 19100m vis, 1026 decreasing to 1025mb pressure. All movement although much quieter was again to the North/Nor Nor East (Thrushes)

Redwings: 438, Fieldfare: 19, Chaffinch: 75 (50% E 50%W), Song Thrus: 1N, Pink Footed Geese: 3N, Skylark: 1W, Redpoll: 1S.

Friday 11th October 2103 - Visible Migration over Tarn Lane, Burton In Kendal. 
0900hrs - 1200hrs, Wind Speed: NNE 15mph 8-10c, 64%-71% Cloud cover, 16800m gaining to 18500m vis, 1027m gaining to 1028mb pressure.  Best day so far with the thrushes, on my way back from Heysham, noticed birds (Redwings) crossing the A6 at Truckhaven and going off into the Yealands and probably ending up in the line coming out at nearby Levens Hall.  On my way back to Burton down the A6070, noticed lots of stuff passing through North at Deerslett and also some on the other side of the road, so thought best to get to Tarn Lane for a central point and it worked out OK.  But got jaded with all the binocular work so called it a day by 1200hrs.  Birds were still going through "thick" right up until about 1530hrs so these were all missed.  All thrushes went North, with most in the 50-100ft altitude range.

Redwing: 2385 (53 parties: best: 170,100,80) Fieldfare: 725 (13 parties: best: 100,100) Chaffinch: 12, Starling: 10, Peregrine Falcon: 1S, Swallow: 1N (silly direction!)

Thursday 10th October 2013 - Visible Migration over  Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal.

0730hrs-1000hrs, Wind speed: NW 15mph, 4c - 7c 0-22% Cloud cover, 19700 loosing to 19100m, 1022 gaining to 1024mb. All movement W-NW with Thrushes, Chaffinch both East and West.

Redwing: 219, Chaffinch 170, Meadow Pipit: 17, Starling: 2W, Woodpigeon: 42, Skylark 6NE.

Wednesday 9th October 2013 (dad's birthday) - Visible Migration over Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal. 

0730hrs to 0900hrs. Wind Speed WNW 13mph, Rain flecking at first, 92% cloud cover reducing to 75%, 16600m visability gaining slightlyto 16900m, and 1021mb pressure and dropping to 1019mb.  All movement to the SW unless stated.

Still disappointing counts at present and hopefully will improve soon with the impending change of wind direction to Easterlies on Friday/Saturday.  Also it does look very interesting in that a "opening" could be possible for the mighty "Redwing wave"... we shall see!

Chaffinch: 99 (75 SW/24SE), Woodpigeon: 41, Blackbird: 2W, Redwing: 9W.

Tuesday 8th October 2013 - Visible Migration over Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal.

0722hrs to 0757 hrs and then again 0915hrs to 1030hrs. Wind Speed SW 10-12mph, 83% Cloud cover reducing to 60% 9900m visability gaining to 16400m,1020mb gaining to 1022 mb pressure. All movement SSW/SW unless stated.

Still low passage ever since the commencement of the Westerlies. It is quite noticeable also that the Chaffinch passage does not have the same urgency, more casual with plenty of mid air "sallies" as though fighting one another - just a obvious more leisurable state. 

Chaffinch: 110 (101 SSW/SW and 9 birds SE), Goldfinch: 1 (SE) Song Thrush: 1SW, Meadow Pipit: 3SE, Skylark: 1SE, Alba Wagtail: 3 (1SW, 2SE), Redwing: 6W

Sunday 6th October 2013 - Visible Migration over Vicarage Lane Fields, Burton In Kendal.

0715hrs to 0945hrs. Wind Speed W 5mph 59% cloud 10200vis - 1021mb  11c. Never really got going just odds (Chaffinch) going through steady but with no pace, most were just sallying in mid air like they do.

Chaffinch: 207, Meadow Pipit: 9, Pink Footed Goose - sounded like a very high skein N-S but could not find them. Pintail: 2S, Linnet: 6, Swallow: 8, Alba Wagtail: 4, Grey Wagtail: 1, Skylark: 1, Goldfinch: 8 (one party) Song Thrush: 1, Woodpigeon: 17 

Saturday 5th October 2013 - Visible Migration over Vicarage Lane Fields, Burton In Kendal.

0715hrs to 1100hrs. Wind Speed W5mph. Cloudy, Blue Skies at times.  Movement all over the place mainly to the SE or to the SW or W. (Chaffinch 50%SW or W 50% SE)

Chaffinch: 419, Greenfinch 5 SE, Mistle Thrush 2E, Redwing 55 W (6,7,8,14,16,4), Song Thrush 3SE, Blackbird 12 (some E some W) Pink Footed Goose 5 SW, Woodpigeon 22 SE, Alba Wagtail: 1SE, Goldfinch: 48 SE, Skylark: 7SE, Linnet: 8SE, Reed Bunting 1 SE, Meadow Pipit: 10 SE

Also Red Admiral: 1 Large White: 1, Peacock: 1 and Small Tortoiseshell: 1

Friday 4th October 2013 - Visible Migration over Vicarage
Lane Fields, Burton In Kendal. 

0738hrs to 0757hrs. Wind Speed E 5mph. Heavy rain at start. All movement SE unless stated:
Chaffinch: 44, Meadow Pipit: 18 (one party) Skylark: 4, Swallow: 6, Woodpigeon: 1.

0900hrs to 1200hrs. Wind changed around to SW 3mph. All movement SE unless stated: Chaffinch: 248, Meadow Pipit:121, Skylark: 3, Goldfinch 18 (one party), Song Thrush 3, Mistle Thrush: 4 (one party), Redwing: 5 (one party), Starling: 17 ( first continentals all W), Alba Wagtail: 22, Grey Wagtail: 1, Swallow: 60, House Martin: 2. Woodpigeon: 35

Thursday 3rd October 2013 - Visible Migration over 

Vicarage Lane Fields, Burton In Kendal. 0730hrs to 0750hrs. Wind Speed SE 10-15mph. All movement S/SE. Heavy rain showers from onset to 0730hrs then OK. Going through strong at leaving.

Chaffinch: 40 (in 15 minutes), Meadow Pipit: 1, Greenfinch: 1, Swallow: 8 (5,3), Alba Wagtail: 2 (paired) Linnet: 3.

then at 0830 to 1215hrs from Heysham Observatory.  All movement S/SE, Wind speed here dropped to 3-5mph. These are purely my counts whilst present, please go to the Heysham Blog to see also what Pete had prior to my counts.

Chaffinch: 79, Meadow Pipit: 52, Blackbird: 3, Song Thrush: 3, Alba Wagtail: 15, Grey Wagtail: 2, Goldfinch: 67, Swallow: 2, Siskin: 3, Skylark: 4, Greenfinch: 1

then from 1345 to 1445hrs back to Burton In Kendal. Wind freshened to 20/25 mph ESE. All movement S/SE

Meadow Pipit: 3, Chaffinch: 20 (still moving through regular on my leaving at 1 every 3 minutes), Red Admiral Butterfly: 1. 

Wednesday 2nd October 2013 - Visible Migration over 

Vicarage Lane Fields, Burton In Kendal. 0715hrs to 1000hrs. Wind Speed: 20mph gusting to 25 and 30mph at times. All movement S/SE. Rain at first for 45minutes then dry, but threatening rain with spots on leaving at 10.

There must have been a massive fall of Robins in the early hours, because the hedgerows this morning were absolutely full of "ticking" Robins.

Chaffinch: 79, Meadow Pipit: 4, Swallow: 52, Skylark: 3, Goldfinch: 68, Mistle Thrush: 1

Vicarage lane Fields, Burton In Kendal. 1345hrs to 1500hrs Wind Speed: 20mph and gusting to 25 and 30mph at times.  All movement S/SE.  threatening rain throughout.

Chaffinch: 18, Goldfinch: 20 (one party), Meadow Pipit: 1, Swallow: 1.

Tuesday 1st October 2013 - Visible Migration over Vicarage Lane Fields, Burton In Kendal. - 0715hrs to 0745hrs. Wind Speed East 20-25mph. All movement S/SE. 

Chaffinch: 31, Swallow: 6, Meadow Pipit: 3, Blue Tit: 1.

Afternoon Session - Burton In Kendal 1500hrs - 1630hrs Wind Speed East 20-25mph. All movement S/SE. 

Chaffinch: 31, Swallow: 28 (3,3,15,7), Meadow Pipit: 4, Mistle Thrush 1. 

from Heysham Observatory - 0830hrs to 1100hrs. Wind Speed East 12-15mph. All movement S/SE (these are purely my counts, Pete did prior to 0830hrs to check out all please go to Heysham Blog.

Meadow Pipit: 69, Chaffinch: 44, Alba Wagtail: 9, Grey Wagtail: 1, Swallow: 11, Goldfinch: 1, Pink Footed Goose: 71 (69+2).

Monday 30th September 2013 - Visible Migration over Vicarage Lane fields, Burton In Kendal - 0700hrs to 0755hrs. Wind Speed East 10-15mph. 

All movement S/SSE - although the first bird was at 0705hrs It didn't really start to about 0730hrs and then I had good numbers up to leaving:

Chaffinch: 93, Meadow Pipit: 19, Swallow: 42, Alba Wagtail: 4, Goldfinch: 38 (2,10,25,11) Sparrowhawk on the move: 1

another count at Vicarage Lane fields, Burton 1500hrs - 1630hrs. Birds still moving through, as they will have been all day long in dribs at about 1-2 per minute (Chaffinch)
Chaffinch: 30 (best 5,3), Swallow: 25 (1,4,25), Goldfinch: 12 (one party)

Counting from Red Nab, Heysham and also at Heysham Observatory (along with Andrew Cornell) 0835hrs to 1200hrs. Wind Speed East 10-15mph and variable down and up. 

Straightaway on visiting Red Nab, we found a "Black Redstart" on the fence post alongside one of the caravan gardens. It flew off after identification and was not seen again. Also a Whitethroat and a Chiffchaff.

The counts we had at both areas in Heysham were: Pink Footed Goose: 40 (1 skein), Alba Wagtail: 20, Grey Wagtail (3), Goldfinch: 35, Linnet 16, Siskin: 8, Meadow Pipit: 141. (This is only part count at Heysham) to check out the full numbers including earlier stuff with Pete check here:

Sunday 29th September 2013 - Visible Migration over Vicarage Lane fields, Burton In Kendal - 0700hrs to 1100hrs. Wind Speed: E 9mph then swung to NE 4-5mph then down to 2-3mph then back to E 7-8mph. All movement S/SSE.

Things never really got going today, and the variable wind changes really did not help matters. There is a steady trickle of Mipit's and mainly Chaffinches going on even as I left and probably like yesterday will go on for the rest of the day.  Estimated going through at about 1-2 birds per minute.
Chaffinch: 259, Meadow Pipit: 171, Swallow: 50, House Martin 40, Alba Wagtail: 10, Grey Wagtail: 6, Goldfinch: 20, Linnet: 1, Mistle Thrush: 10, Great Spotted Woodpecker: 1S 

Saturday 28th September 2013 -Visible Migration over Vicarage Lane fields, Burton In Kendal - 0700hrs to 1030hrs. Wind Speed 15mph (F4) All movements S/SSE.  Mipits at long last!

Meadow Pipit: 793 (best parties: 26,18,15,14,14,13 and twelves - the bigger parties all more or less within the first hour, then pairs to fives after that.
Chaffinch: 126 (best: 13,13), Alba Wagtail: 18 (best: 7,4), Grey Wagtail: 4 (one party), Goldfinch: 21 (best 8,6), Greenfinch: 3 (theres plenty on the move but they are down running along the bottom (eg: Hutton Close, The Vicarage level). Linnet: 1, Swallow: 38 (best: 7,6,5,4) Merlin: 1S, Cormorant: 1S, Woodpigeon: 2, Pink Footed Goose 8W

An afternoon session - Vicarage Lane fields, Burton In Kendal 1300hrs to 1600s. All passage again S/SSE

A White "Barn" Swallow" was among the Swallows going through, just could not believe it at first, in all my years birding, I have never had one of these before.  It was going through with a flock, a "dirty white" coloured appearance with perhaps some "pinky light brown" mixed into the plumage.
I am really glad now I decided to go out again and give it another shot, because besides having this sighting, it was incredible to see so many swallows going through and they were still going through on my leaving.  They were going through fairly regular at first on a really broad front, but as the afternoon went on 95% of them seem to all come through just above "Pickles Wood" and its sides.  I wondered if it was a good line for them to get more feed from the trees!

Swallows: 376 (best: 33,30,24,20), White "leucism" Barn Swallow: 1, House Martin: 32 (7,2,18,5) Chaffinch: 74, Meadow Pipit: 39, Grey Wagtail: 7, Alba Wagtail: 1, Goldfinch: 24.

Reports coming in that the Mipit's have also been going strong over Caton, Heysham and Sunderland Point. Yet they just have not been getting them further down in East Lancs and further East over in Bradford, it does look that for this part of the country at least that the passage is more of a Westerley thing, I suppose its even possible that with these continual Easterlies winds possibly bringing them across that we could even get more than usual this year.  

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Pink Footed Geese and other visible bird Migration

Probably a thousand or more Pink Feet crossed over Morecambe Bay yesterday 18th September 2013.
Friday 27th September 2013 - Visible Migration
over Vicarage Lane fields, Burton In Kendal - 0645hrs to 0745hrs. All movement to the SE
Winds E 12-15mph (or F3/4 beaufort)

Nothing got going before 0726hrs just the odd bird, so actually only got to watch for 20 minutes before I had to leave. It was poor compared to yesterday but this was probably due to the late start by the birds.

Chaffinch: 42 (best: 5,5,5), Meadow Pipit: 14 (10,4), Siskin: 2, Woodpigeon: 1

Over Heysham Observatory from 0830hrs to 1030hrs slightly less Wind though still East at 10mph (F3 beaufort) All passage South East. (The following count is only part of the totals at Heysham):

Meadow Pipit: 160 (9,8,7), Chaffinch: 27 (3s,2s,1s), Grey Wagtail: 2, Goldfinch: 4, Alba Wagtail: 8, Mistle Thrush 7, Blackbird: 2, Heron 2 NW, Swallow: 18, Pink Footed Goose: 49 (40,9).

Thursday 26th September 2013 - Visible Migration
over Vicarage Lane fields, Burton in Kendal - just half hour 0700hrs to 0730hrs, all movement to the SE. Winds E 10mph (or F3 beaufort)

Chaffinch: 111 (best: 8s and 5s), Meadow Pipit: 35 (best: 8,5,4), Swallow 7 (1,1,3,2) Redwing 1 (first of the year and audible only), Goldfinch: 20 (one party), Alba Wagtail: 3, Woodpigeon: 4. 

"No traffic noise today just the rustling noises of maize blowing resulting from the Easterly 10mph winds or F3 on the beaufort scale!"

"Some of the Mipits are flying side on to compensate for the wind."

"0730hrs - Got to go "daddies on chauffeuring duties today and again tomorrow, but will get over to Heysham for about 0830hrs and give Pete Marsh assistance in the vismig counting down there."

over Heysham Observatory  - 0830hrs to 1030hrs, all movement to the SE winds still E at 8mph (or F2-3 beaufort). Pete Marsh did prior to 0830hrs. - numbers are purely for my count only.

Meadow Pipit: 197 (best parties: 14,10,8,8,8) the total count for this species including Pete's was over 400. Chaffinch:77, Greg Wagtail: 2, Alba Wagtail: 27 (best parties: 7,5,4), Goldfinch 30 (22,6,2), Greenfinch: 6, Swallow: 42 (6,9,7,7,13,1)

"Again Swallows are keeping tight and directly SE with haste"

"Mipits are on a broad front, but lots of them are crossing over the Bay, probably from Ulverston and Grange areas."

"At Heysham, it's pylons and wires, almost everywhere you look in front,
lots of straight lines of wires on top of one another running parallel.
and in between the wires the mipit's are bobbing through in pairs and groups,
today the skies are generally grey, but by mid morning blue holes fractured the grey,
and guess what, more lines started to appear within them already stretched lines,
but these lines were white and fluffy, and straight, and some thin and some fat,
some were criss- cross, and these lines within the lines were aeroplane lines,
And still the Mipit's kept bobbing through in pairs and groups".  

"When I bobbed my head above the "Mount", 
 I saw Heysham one, or was it two, I really don't know
Today the sirons were calling so loud,
 just like the one I remember as a child down in East Lancs,
it used to be on the fire station, which they would test every week,
It was supposed to warn us of a "bomb raid" then later,
I heard it was to warn us of a nuclear fallout.
With scaffold, tubes and pipes and lots of steam,
and noise so loud came from that grey coloured tower so vast,
Time to quickly retreat below that "Mount" from where I came,
A second or two in time would pass for me to pace descent"
Back into quiet, with feathered friends to watch and count,
This has got to be for me the right side of that "Mount".  

Wednesday 25th September 2013 - Visible migration over Burton In Kendal 0700hrs to 1000hrs.

Again counting from the fields off Vicarage Lane.  The weather today was even more "murky" than yesterday resulting in a far poorer count.  However I did manage a few which were going directly overhead. eg:

Chaffinch: 152 (mainly to the SE), Meadow Pipit: 33, Swallow: 25, Alba Wagtail: 2, Common Snipe 1, Goldfinch: 9, Siskin: 3 Reed Bunting 1.

Of note: Odd parties of Redwing came into the east coast yesterday evening.


"Buteo calling regular, at first seemed distant and at times my imagination was running away with itself thinking I had heard distant Golden Plover".

"For most of the count there must have been just a little, meagre amount of Westerley wind, because you could clearly hear the amplified motorway traffic coming from that direction."

"Flies continually hovering under this fabulous great old Ash (I hope it stays fit and does not get that nasty disease) The flies are not the smallest of midges which are so annoying and bite and get in your hair making you itch, they are bigger in size, yet not the size of the mayfly, a sort of in between, but not annoying". 

"0830hrs, birds semi-lulled and visability closing in even further".

"Co blimey! that musk smell has been at this very spot for at least three days now and was obviously left behind whilst Reynard made his travels through the Maize. The smell clings, but not too unpleasant, yet must be really powerful. Its no wonder some of these after shave lotions are called "musk" but they could never really, really, get a musk to last as long as "Reynard's does".

"Its the very peak time of mipit migration now, but little to show at the moment, no twittering today above the clouds, well maybe the odd one, so don't think I am missing the birds, I just don't thing they are bothering today" Maybe tomorrow will be better down at Heysham.

"What a change in the Swallows!  today the few small parties I have had have been tightly grouped and going through direct with no messing about".

Now the little "nasty" midges have arrived in their battalions, so its a good thing to wave my stick at them and try to disperse them! but seriously no joy, just run..."

"I do wish this murk would lift and go away, its been hanging around now for 3 or 4 days.  I suppose its something to do with higher than normal temperatures for the time of year, plus the fact that the wind is variable to no wind at all".

"Rustling noises from within the maize which this year is so high, maybe 8ft and carrying two large cobs" Never found out what it was maybe a deer, or a reynard or a hare or a rabbit who knows".

Tuesday 24th September 2013 - Visible migration  Burton In Kendal. 0700hrs to 1000hrs

Counting from down in Mike Taylors fields, off Vicarage Lane, near Dalton. Good counts of Chaffinch, still large remnants of hirundines going through and stopping to feed up over maize fields etc. NO PIPITS RECORDED AT ALL (a suprise!)

Chaffinch: 239 (best parties: 14,10,10), Swallow 202 (best parties: 35,27,31,36), House Martin: 40 (best parties 20,10,10), Goldfinch: 22 (best parties: 12,8,2), Alba wagtail: 2, Common Snipe 4 (one party)

Monday 23rd September 2013 - Visible migration over Heysham Nature Reserve 0815hrs to 1000hrs
"Swallow migration had its secondary Peak in the UK today"

Most movement had finished by 0900hrs, just trickling parties after that.
(please note these totals include what Pete Marsh had early doors before my arrival)

Meadow Pipit: 245 (best parties for me: 30,10,17,40,15,13) all NW to SE
Swallow: 12, Chaffinch: 15, Skylark: 1, Grey Wagtail: 9, Alba Wagtail: 9, Reed Bunting: 1, Goldfinch: 3

Later checking out Hirundines over Burton In Kendal.  A couple of hundred in the air over Mike Taylor's fields, just enjoying the bonanza of flies.  Very difficult to count and gave up in the end. Leaving and more joining all the time.

Sunday 22nd September 2013 - Visible migration over Burton In Kendal.       "Swallow migration Peaked in the UK today"
1015hrs to 1115hrs.

First thing it was very poor visability with low mist which did clear mid morning and allowed me to go out and check the hirundine passage coming through over Curwen, Slape Lane and Vicarage Lane, Dalton area.
Swallows: 241, House Martin 7, Chaffinch: 16 plus lots more which could not be counted because I was unsure whether they were on direct passage or just coming in to feed on the maize. Alba Wagtail: 1 Grey Wagtail: 1, Meadow Pipit: 1 (very disappointing), Greenfinch: 2, Red Admiral Butterfly: 3.

The hirundine's were still going through on my leaving and would expect them to be going through on passage for most of the day. These birds are not going directly through with haste, but casually feeding up whilst gradually moving South all the time, but has one lot goes out to the South there is another lot behind them. There seemed to be insects everywhere, lots of midge and lots of other larger sort of "mayfly" type flies about, so I suppose the temptation to feed would be a big pull on the birds and why not!!

"needle tails, arcing wide with intermittent swoops and dives and chattering,
gulping midge and other insects because its a bounty day today and not to be missed, 
migrating slowly South, calling tonight at some darkened reedbed or maize field,
and again tomorrow night and the night after before crossing the sea" 

Saturday 21st September 2013 - Visible bird migration over Hutton Roof 0800hrs to 1200hrs.
Very little on the move except several Meadow Pipits, just a few Chaffinches and a fine party of 5 Skylarks all going SW, but it was obvious from the start nothing much was going to happen with that poor visability, low cloud damp wetting mist which was about today and remained so for the rest of the day.  I also had a blogging party of around 20 Meadow Pipits on the top of the Common.  I also had three birds in the same hawthorn bush which when disturbed flew off with a "Tink" call, which I just could not bring the call to mind, it certainly was not the "pink" call of the Chaffinch, but very metallic and interesting!  Also a party of four Swallows went zooming past on a South journey.
With very little happening on the bird scene, spent the rest of the afternoon getting soaked through and searching out flora in the nooks and crannies of the grikes and clints for anything rare or out of the ordinary..

Friday 20th September 2013 - More "Pinks"
(0845hrs-1040hrs) Vismig watching at Heysham Nature Reserve.

It was a great pleasure to be able to do some vis counting at Heysham. I can assure you its not that I am deserting my local "patch" Hutton Roof, its just that I am in the area of Heysham over the next few weeks on sporadic days and so it only makes sense to bob in there and do a little vis counting. 

Today although the conditions (to me) looked favourable, there was very little moving here in the way of passerine or hirundines, and this remained the same throughout my watch.  Thankfully though the morning was saved by yet again those magnificent "Pink Footed Geese". 

A good couple of hours on the Pink Footed Goose which again where going through on a reasonable regular basis throughout although they had started to "lull" after 1000hrs.  The geese were coming through at all levels (mainly high) on a far broad front eg: perhaps about four parties actually came directly over the "Heysham Nature Reserve Office" or nearabouts, but the main were crossing over the bay and well back, in fact the last party looked as though they could have been as far back as "Piel Island" and also a couple of parties were well inland to the East almost as far as you can see.  Observations were made from the top of the "Mount" near to the office and overlooking the bay which gave a superb vista for Pinks.

Pink Footed Goose: 803 (15 skeins, 40,32,40,30,30,45,16,50,130,50,150,50,50,80,5) all coming from North/North West to South/South West. I did not notice any "East" direction influence today.
Meadow Pipit: 5
Chaffinch: 5
Swallow: 15
Goldfinch: 5 (one party)

On leaving Heysham, the hirundines had just started picking up a little, though difficult to count because of the erratic variant directions and undecided as to which were local or on direct migration.

Of note, when I first bobbed my head above the "Mount" level and looking directly in front there were literally "thousands" of dark birds crossing through the back of the power station which kept a straight line and must have been about "40 birds deep" going from NW to S/SE.  It was really thick and you could see birds from as far left to as far right on that lineage.  I never really got into it, caught out with the immediate "happening" but can only think that perhaps they were Oyks, although I did not see any "white" flashes at all, everything seemed deep black (probably silhouetted).

1400hrs - 1700hrs Went up through Dalton to Hutton Roof Common. Very windy and little in the way of birds.

So thought I would check out the Autumn Gentian "Fellwort" and sure enough just like Wal said it was to be seen hugging the sides of the footpaths in the shortest of grasses. As usual with this species (well at least around here), you rarely see it with its petals actually open.

Autumn Gentian or Fellwort on Hutton Roof
Thursday 19th September 2013 - Bonaparte's Gull etc
(0845hrs - 0945hrs)
Sadly the weather turned out very badly during the morning and early afternoon, but with being already in Heysham decided to call upon Pete Marsh and try and help out with a little vismig counting. Obviously because of the weather the birds were not going through.

It was a very nice suprise to be given the opportunity to see the rare "Bonaparte's Gull" at Red Nab which was very busy pruning itself at the rock pools whilst in the company of many Black Headed Gulls and others. Thanks to both Peter and Jean for showing me the bird and allowing me to see it through Jean's fine telescope.

(1400hrs - 1600hrs) Afternoon, although very blustery decided to go on Hutton Roof because I wanted some photos of the Holly Fern 2 which I did manage and have posted some below.

Whilst on the top of Hutton Roof Common I did have a small party of Goldcrest which could be heard in the small trees. Obviously this is not Goldcrest habitat and can only think they are resting up during onward migration.

So here is Holly Fern No.2 and note the fronds are partially disguised by its Polystichum cousin (Hard Shield Fern) showing on either side and again in the middle. (Please click over to enlarge)

Another photo of the Holly Fern (and Hard Shield)

Wednesday 18th September 2013 - "Tickled Pink"
Visible Migration - 0830 - 1030hrs and again 1330hrs to 1500hrs. Burton In Kendal.

I decided to give vismig a go this morning and was not disappointed with a good count of Pink Footed Goose coming in from all directions NNE to NW. Earlier they seem to have that NNE to North direction but by mid morning it was all from the North through to NW.  In the afternoon it was all from the NE.

Pink Footed Goose, 591 total (10 skeins 70,9,22,60,100,80,80,40,50,80)
Hirdundines - hundreds - There seemed to be a party over Curwen Wood in excess of 200 mixed with Swallows and House Martins, they were feeding up and gradually moving off South, whilst at the same time birds were coming in from the North and topping up the holding party in high numbers yet again, this seemed to be going on for most of the time whilst vismigging. Only the odd Meadow Pipit, Lots of Chaffinch, odd Redpoll, Woodpigeon foraging parties swelling in numbers. Odd large Thrushes to the West presumed Mistle Thrush. Also now added photo to yesterday's blog.

A "Tickled Pink" day with lots of  "pink footed geese", 
Hundreds or a thousand or more will have crossed the sky today,
Some from the North West, some from the Nor Nor West,
Some North, and some from the Nor Nor East came into view.
And only just did they, for some were noisy and very loud,
whilst others were so high, you could'nt hear a sound!
I'm sure they where to Martin Mere bound.....