Fall start

Working from home today – a mixed blessing, as the usually quieter and more conducive work environment of the kitchen table meant I was mere feet away from one of the more impressive falls of autumn migrants I’ve seen since moving here. Very frustrating, as a glance out of the window was enough to show me a tantalising hint of what was out there – chats, flycatchers and warblers galore.

Made the most of my lunchhour with JLI, and covered the patch thoroughly – the most striking migrant being the Redstarts – 17 of them in one circuit of the patch! Absolutely stunning birds, a mixture of males and females, all pleasingly vivid and with typical Redstart attitude. Also 5 Whinchats, Pied and Spotted Flycatchers, Common and Lesser Whitethroats, many Garden and Willow Warblers, Song Thrush, Tree Pipit, and the star of the show, a flava (Grey-headed?) wagtail. Yellow Wagtail was an overdue patch tick for me.

Back to my work for the afternoon, and aware that more was coming in all the time, as Robins began appearing on the driveway outside, and more and more Redstarts appeared to be around the house. One persistent and deranged male spent 15 minutes flying repeatedly into the kitchen window…

Got back out there this evening, and enjoyed prolonged views of the Tree Pipit before finding my second Barred Warbler of the autumn in the yard alongside the trap. No joy with catching it, but a very successful couple of hours down in the plantation with BM and a mistnet secured good numbers of Garden and Willow Warblers, Blackcap, Robin, and inevitably several of the ubiquitous Redstarts. Amazing how quickly you take these things for granted…


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