Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Major thrust in CHAFFINCH passage


Another day with little wind at first but increasing southerly and SSW later, with intermittent drizzle and continuing warm temperatures (18 degrees C). I spent much of the morning on the hills but was disappointed with general passage, the main thrust of birds moving well to the east of the Ivinghoe complex. There were good numbers of thrushes - but not the numbers I expected - but exceptional numbers of Chaffinch. Some kind soul had strategically placed some apples in the 'Ring Ouzel clump'.

(0800-1100 hours)

STOCK DOVES (2 local birds followed by a migrating flock of 10 in from the NE at 1019 hours)
Great Spotted Woodpecker (1)
Eurasian Skylark (68 over)
REDWING (just 156 over)
FIELDFARE (135 in total, passing in flocks well to the east)
Song Thrush (just 1 in Top Scrub)
Coal Tit (2 by car park)
MARSH TIT (a vocal individual carrying a thistle head in the car park)
CHAFFINCH (the big story with birds passing over continuously totalling 974 by the time I left)
Linnet (26)
BULLFINCH (marked arrival with at least 9 noted, including 3 female/immatures in Top Scrub and two more in scrub below the car park)
CORN BUNTING (5 over - single and party of 4)
Yellowhammer (1)


There are two fields which are harbouring large numbers of wintering farmland birds at the moment - the large ploughed field immediately south of the Ridgeway at SP 955 145 and the stubble field to the west at SP 953 145. I keep plodding away at them in the hope of locating a Twite, Richard's Pipit or Lapland Bunting but alas, again today, no sign of any of these vagrants. Good numbers of common birds though -:

Woodpigeon (322 - all local birds)
Stock Dove (19 in with the Woodpigeons)
Eurasian Skylarks (42)
Meadow Pipits (28)
COMMON STONECHAT (a male frequenting the fenceline at the north end, by Grim's Ditch footpath, by SP 952 145 - present for at least a week)
LINNETS (163 - carefully grilled, particularly when I gently eased them all on to the fenceline - no Twite with them)
CORN BUNTINGS (22 in the plough)
YELLOWHAMMERS (28 in the plough, mostly at the north end)


The south side is now completely dry

Little Grebe (13)
Moorhen (4)
Common Gulls (5 adults)
Lesser Black-backed Gulls (111)


Apart from a few Pochard and the gulls, all of the birds were on the main marsh.

Mute Swan (45 present including 2 first-winters)
MANDARIN DUCK (pair at west end)
Eurasian Wigeon (125)
Gadwall (33)
Shoveler (3 including an adult drake)
RED-CRESTED POCHARD (adult female)
Northern Pochard (3 with an additional 5 on the main lake)
Tufted Duck (49)
Lesser Black-backed Gull (45 on the islands)
REDWING (13 flew SW)
CHAFFINCH (23 over, mainly singletons)

(1230-1300 hours)

Great Crested Grebe (17)
Little Grebe (3)
Mute Swans (25 including 7 first-winters)
Atlantic Canada Geese (32)
Cormorants (27 including 3 ringed individuals, one of which was the returning Forvie adult)
Gadwall (large increase - 45 present)
Common Teal (216)
Shoveler (high count of 194)
Pochard (96)
*GREATER SCAUP (the juvenile was still showing well on the east side, hugging the bank)
Lapwing (166)
EUROPEAN GOLDEN PLOVERS (297 roosting on the bund)
Black-headed Gulls (298)
COMMON GULLS (3 adults)

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