Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Another excellent day on the Hills - high REDWING passage


Another prime day for diurnal bird migration. A very light NE wind continued with high cloud bearing a few 'blue' breaks and temperatures of 13 degrees C. I spent the morning up Ivinghoe Hills viz-migging and was highly rewarded - an excellent passage. I then walked acres of farmland in search of Lapland Bunting, Richard's Pipit, Twite and Greater Short-toed Lark


Viewed mainly from the first hump towards the Beacon and the extreme northern edge of Steps Hill, with migration ongoing throughout

Thrushes were the main proponent of passage, moving both northwest and southwest, the largest single flock being of 145 birds. REDWINGS were once again the dominant species with a total of 1,286 noted. Many flocks made landfall in 'Top Scrub' with birds 'seeping' all around in the Hawthorns, including one with a white tail. CONTINENTAL SONG THRUSHES were also in abundance with at least 22 encountered, along with 12 Common Blackbirds, just 3 FIELDFARES and 3 MISTLE THRUSHES. Two RING OUZELS were also involved with the movement, both birds landing briefly in the scrub just west of the tall Beech trees. Both birds were males.

A liquid collection of notes announced the arrival of 5 WOODLARKS from the southwest, the five short-tailed birds flying in a loose flock very low over the contour of the hills and heading east towards the transmitter, whilst Eurasian Skylarks numbered 12 (a single and parties of 4 and 7). Meadow Pipits numbered just 34.

A relatively constant passage of finches went overhead with 24 Chaffinches, 2 BRAMBLINGS, 17 Greenfinch and 1 Linnet, whilst 16 Goldfinches were in Top Scrub as well as 4 Bullfinches.

There was not a warbler to be found but 12 Jays, a COAL TIT, 9 Long-tailed Tits, a migrant GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, 3 Green Woodpeckers and a pair of COMMON STONECHATS were to be seen between the S-Bend and Incombe Hole.

A total of 353 Woodpigeons was in trees at Coombe Wood, whilst raptors overhead included two Eurasian Sparrowhawks and 5 different RED KITES (including two juveniles).


I did an extensive search of the fields west of the road where very large numbers of birds are feeding. The stubble field at the far west (at SP 955 144) is in superb condition and full of food, whilst many Skylarks were also favouring the ploughed field adjacent. Species noted were as follows -:

Woodpigeon (190)
Meadow Pipits (85)
Eurasian Skylark (133+)
LINNET (157)

(1330-1500 hours)

Great Crested Grebe (17)
Little Grebe (6)
Mute Swan (14)
Gadwall (17)
Wigeon (117)
Common Teal (336)
Shoveler (153)
Pochard (32)
PINTAIL (just 1 located)
Greater Scaup x Tufted Duck hybrid (female-type)
Tufted Duck (144)
Coots (403 including at least one piebald bird)

Lapwing (311)
EUROPEAN GOLDEN PLOVER (147 roosting on mud)
RINGED PLOVER (2 in NW corner)
GREEN SANDPIPER (2 near hide)

LITTLE OWLS (2 on fence)

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