Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Great Grey day !

A dream day ! With settled weather in Scandinavia caused by a large high pressure system the conditions were perfect for an overnight departure of migrants that would get drifted slightly off course in the NE winds and head directly over the North Sea towards the UK East Coast. If conditions here had been equally as fair then most of this avian traffic would have largely gone undetected. However, conditions were unfolding that we only dare dream about, a low pressure with a wet frontal system was moving east and would be sitting off the UK East Coast during the night. Inbound migrants flying in to this would find it tough going and would almost certainly land on the first bit of cover they encountered - a coastal fall of migrants ! Combine this with the peak time of the year for migration and an ornithological sweet shop was about to open !
At Buckton dawn was shrouded in mist rolling in off the sea, with visibility at times less than 40ft . The action was to be played out on the cliff top. It was immediately obvious migrants were all about us, the first net round produced 9 Robins and a flock of Bramblings. This turned out to be the theme for the day with Robins in super abundance, maybe up to 100+ individuals on site and the fence along the cliff top lined with them and parties of up to 30 Bramblings. Other migrants included 25 Redstarts, Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Tree Pipits, 35 Chiffchaff, 15 Willow Warbler, 25 Goldcrest, 10 Ring Ouzels, 50+ Song Thrushes, 30 Redwings, 35 Lapland Buntings, a Coal Tit (2nd ever record) and a super Grey Grey Shrike which I watched fly in off the sea, continue past me, chase an insect in mid flight before dropped towards the wood. I later relocated it at the wood and managed a distant image before it vanished in to thin air, as only shrikes can! Most East Coast sites had a brilliant period and at Buckton I ringed over 240 new birds. Read on ....

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