Friday 14th October – Durlston   Leave a comment

Plenty of bird but not too many photos because I left the camera battery on the charger.

Last night at Lytchett Bay we only ringed 25 Pied Wagtails. The numbers at the roost have dropped off recently probably because three Marsh Harriers roosted near there a few days ago. What we lost in wagtails we made up for in Reed Buntings, 15 were trapped at dusk. The recapture of a bird ringed in the arable fields on the far side of the Bay a couple of weeks ago indicates that the area is being used as a roost from birds all over the area.

Today at Durlston a stiff east wind made ringing rather difficult and there were very few grounded migrants, mainly Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps, but ‘vis mig’ was spectacular.

‘Vis mig’ or visible migration involved watching and counting flocks of diurnal migrating birds. This mainly involves finches and hirundines but thrushes will move by as well as night. Warblers, chats etc migrate mainly at night and usually are only seen on the move by day if they get ‘caught out’ over the sea at dawn.

Today about 2000 Goldfinches with smaller numbers of Linnets, Siskins, Redpolls, Skylarks, Meadow Pipits and Swallows were on the move, many thousands of birds in all. Best were at least 12 Wood Larks and a flock of 25 White-fronted Geese. The birds were all heading east into the wind except the geese which were flying south-west.

Without a working camera today I have resorted to an internet photo of migrating Wood Pigeons taken on a vis mig watch. The pigeons tend to move later than most finches peaking in early November.

In spite of the low numbers we caught two new species for our Durlston ringing list, a House Sparrow, which just seem to have moved into the area and Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Juvenile GSWs have a red crown, after the post-juvenile moult the female develop a black nape and the males a red nape. The bird can still be aged as a first year (even though the red crown has been lost) by the contrast between the median and greater coverts. Photo by Ali Quinney.


Red Admirals have become common again in recent weeks.


A single Clouded Yellow was in the Durlston garden. Photo from the internet.

As a final bonus as I arrived home, a flock of Redpolls flew over the garden.

Posted October 14, 2011 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized

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