Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Ortolan falls

For almost a week in advance, the weekend of August 25th 2013 looked like a 'nailed on fall'. So it proved, Friday afternoon saw me trip over a Wryneck - anting on the track around the main dell, a sure sign of an imminent eastern arrival. Overnight rain that continued until mid morning did the trick. The first net round producing Pied Flycatchers and Garden Warblers. Although many other places enjoyed more of a deluge, I was over the moon with a site tick in the form of a 1st winter Ortolan Bunting happily feeding at close range on the cliff top in fog, which just kept rolling in. This like the Bluethroat in the spring has been a long time coming, I almost have the set of scarce migrants now, although Rosefinch is well overdue !  I like the fact that these are good records, in the sense that if Dave Waudby and myself didn't watch here then its likely none of these records would exist, they certainly contribute to the bigger picture which is showing that the 'north of the head' has been grossly underwatched. Finally over the weekend another site tick fell - Black-tailed Godwit, six were on the village pond found by Dave Aitken from the Bempton reserve, a quick and rough drive from the cliff top to the village ensued !

A slight alteration to the trapping end of the Heligoland has taken place thanks to the handy work of Dave, this more narrow ramp should focus birds better.

Equally a fair bit of work has gone into sorting the scrub out, particularly around the cliff top dell and Heligoland trap, it looks good and most importantly will hold and enable birds to be caught.

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