Sunday, 31 October 2010

Lutley Wedge 31/10/10 07.15am (9°c) Grey and overcast with low cloud 8/8. Wind E F2-3

Heavily overcast skies and low cloud seemed to suppress a lot of visible migration this morning, though Thrushes (mostly Redwing) appeared to be arriving and 'dropping out' late morning into the hedgerows due to the overcast skies.

Visible Migration 07.15-11.15am :-
142 Redwing (37 >S/SW) (17 >WSW) (5 >E) (3 >NW) (77 >in)
26 Fieldfare (17 >S/SW) (1 >NE) (8 >in)
4 Song Thrush (1> S) (2 >ESE) (1 >in)
3 Blackbird >in
5 Brambling
39 Chaffinch (28 >W/SW) (11 >WNW)
18 Siskin (8 >S/SSW) (3 >NW) (8 >in)
1 Reed Bunting >SW
467 Starling (75 >SW) (392 >W) 
36 Wood Pigeon >S/SW
8 Meadow Pipit
12 Skylark
80+ Linnet 
Redwing 31/10/10

Skylark 31/10/10

I managed to get a reasonable recording of Song Thrush flight call today. The call is a very quiet and sharp 'sip' and can almost be 'subliminal' i think when you here it from migrating birds, though it still seems to carry for some distance even from high flying birds if you have sharp hearing that is! 
Song Thrush Sonogram of flight call Lutley Wedge 31/10/10

Song Thrush Flight Call Lutley Wedge 31/10/10

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Lutley Wedge 30/10/10 08.00am (7°c) Mostly clear skies with some scattered high cloud 2/8-5/8. Wind brisk S F3

Another 'Finch' day, saw the record autumn passage of Brambling at Lutley continuing with at least 14 flying through, and good numbers of Chaffinch again on the move west. Small flocks of Starling again headed West, 2 Ravens flew in over the Top Footpath heading off to the W/SW and frustratingly a Grey Anser Goose sp flew high and distant over the Top Footpath, but just too far away to make a positive i.d.

Visible migration 08.00-11.30am :-
14 Brambling >W/SW
103 Chaffinch >W/NW
1 Grey Goose Anser sp (probable Greylag) >WNW
20 Finch sp (Chaffinch/Brambling) >W/SW
2 Siskin (1>NNW) (1 >E)
2 Reed Bunting >W
9 Meadow Pipit (8 >W/SW) (1 >NW)
29 Redwing (23 >S/SW/W) (1 >NE) (5 in)
43 Fieldfare (34 >W/SW) (7 >S/SE) (2 in)
1 Song Thrush >N
2 Blackbird (1>SW) (1 >NW)
577 Starling >W
369 Wood Pigeon >S/SW 
2 Ravens >WSW
15 Pied Wagtail
20+ Linnet
10 Goldfinch
Pre-sunrise Lutley Wedge 30/10/10

Brambling heading west Lutley Wedge 30/10/10

Fieldfare Lutley Wedge 30/10/10

Raven Lutley Wedge 30/10/10

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Lutley Wedge 28/10/10 (10°c) Bright with High Cloud/overcast later a.m Wind SW F3/4

An excellent day of visible migration!  Highlight was a Red Kite (possibly the same bird seen on 16/10/10?) which flew West mobbed by 4 Jackdaws at 09.10am. There were good numbers of Chaffinch arriving from the east through the morning, and involved with the same movement an influx of Brambling with at least 18 birds heading West. Other highlights were 2 Bullfinch flying through high to the NE then E (possible 'northern race'? Or more likely dispersing British Ssp pileata?!) and 4 Golden Plover that flew West at 09.24am.
'The trill has gone!' Sadly this morning as yesterday and every morning since the invasion began, every Starling/Waxwing shaped shape was just that, a Starling! And not a Waxwing! Still it's early days, as far as the Midlands and invading Waxwings goes so plenty of time yet.  And as for the insane time and effort i've put in on the patch for a flyover 'Lapbunt' this autumn to probably no avail, we better not go there! 

Visible Migration 08.00am-12.00pm :-
1 Red Kite >W
4 Golden Plover >W
135 Redwing (92 >S/SW/W) (10 >E/SE)
115 Fieldfare (96 >W/SW) (19 >S)
3 Song Thrush >N/NW
3 Meadow Pipit >SW
18+ Brambling >W/SW
139 Chaffinch >W/NW
2 Redpoll sp >S
9 Siskin (3 >N in) (5 >E) (1 >S)
15 Goldfinch >S
2 Bullfinch >NE/E
1 Reed Bunting >NW
2 Skylark >W
156 Starling >W
103 Jackdaw >E/NE
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker >N
20 Pied Wagtail
1 Common Buzzard
1 Sparrowhawk

Red Kite Lutley Wedge 28/10/10 (The 2nd sighting this autumn)

Male Brambling Lutley Wedge 28/10/10

 Fieldfare and Bullfinch Lutley Wedge 28/10/10

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Lutley Wedge 27/10/10 (11°c) Mild, sunny with scattered high cloud 6/8-4/8. Wind SW F3-4

Highlight this morning was a superb flock of 17 Golden Plover, which flew in from the east at 08.37am. Good numbers of Brambling were moving including a flock of 6 heading south, and small 'packs' of Starlings flew through to the west, with the largest flock numbering around 70 birds. A very late Swallow was also seen.

Visible Migration 07.55- 11.55am :-
17 Golden Plover >W
1 Swallow >SW
24 Fieldfare (23 >W/SW) (1 >E)
72 Redwing (40 >SW) (12 >NW/N) (6 >E)
3 Song Thrush >WSW
9 Brambling (6 >S) (3 >W/SW)
46 Chaffinch (40 >W/SW)
9 Siskin (5 >N) (4 >S/SE)
2 Redpoll sp (1 >S) (1 >E)
1 Reed Bunting >W
1 Grey Wagtail >NE
573 Starling >W
40 Linnet
1 Goldcrest
12 Pied Wagtail
1 Common Buzzard
1+ Sparrowhawk
'Fire in the sky!' looking east, pre-sunrise Lutley wedge 27/10/10

Golden Plover heading West Lutley Wedge 27/10/10

 Brambling and Starlings Lutley Wedge 27/10/10

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Lutley Wedge 24/10/10 07.50am (1°c) Cold and Frosty, clear skies. Wind NW/N F2/3

Visible Migration 07.50-11.20am :-
116 Fieldfare >W/SW
57 Redwing >W/SW
1 Song Thrush >N
3 Brambling >W
54 Chaffinch >W
9 Siskin (6 >S) (2 >N)
1 Redpoll sp >S
1 Reed Bunting >E
372 Starling >W
1210 Wood Pigeon >S/SW
Clear skies and contrail looking East Lutley Wedge 24/10/10

Redwing, Wood Pigeon flock and Chaffinch Lutley Wedge 24/10/10

Friday, 22 October 2010

Lutley Wedge 22/10/10 07.50am (6°c) Clear skies overhead but cloud to the N/E 2/8. Scattered cloud later a.m 4/8. Wind SW F2/3

Visible Migration 07.50-11.20am :-
1 Common Snipe >W/SW
193 Fieldfare >W/SW
55 Redwing (41 >W/SW) (13 >N/NW) (1 >SE)
2 Brambling >NE
15 Siskin >N/NW
4 Redpoll sp >E/SE
15 Chaffinch >W/NW
11 Goldfinch (10 >E/SE) (1 >N)
13 Meadow Pipit (7 >S/SW) (6 >W/NW)
166 Starling >W
Common Snipe and Starlings Lutley Wedge 22/10/10

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Lutley Wedge 21/10/10 07.50am (2°c) Cold, Frost with scattered cloud 4/8. Wind SW F2/3

Highlight this morning was a Water Pipit (see i.d update below..) which I picked up on 'flight call' as it came in over the Top Footpath at 10.19am heading West, (the first record for Lutley Wedge). Lower numbers of Fieldfares flew through this morning, and unlike yesterday when birds were flying over at altitude most of todays flocks flew through low to the West. 

Visible Migration 07.50-11.50am :-
1  Water Pipit >W
326 Fieldfare >W
61 Redwing
4 Song Thrush (1 >S) (2 >NW)
3 Blackbird 
2 Brambling >W
2 Reed Bunting (1 >S) (1 >NW)
79 Chaffinch >W/NW
9 Siskin (5 >ENE) (3 >N)
2 Redpoll sp >S
21 Goldfinch (15 >S/SW) (6 >N/NW)
11 Meadow Pipit (8 >S/SW) (3 >W/NW)
111 Wood Pigeon >S/SW
6 Skylark >W/NW
42 Starling >W
2 Herring Gull >W/NW

Sunrise looking East Lutley Wedge 21/10/10

My niggling doubts on the i.d of the bird below which I initially i.d'd as as a Rock Pipit, proved to be right and I have now re-identified it as a Water Pipit (an even scarcer passage migrant and winter visitor to the Midlands).  Looking again at the record shots i got, it shows too may pro-Water Pipit features to be anything other than a Water Pipit, i.e prominent pale double wing bar, overall pale/cold tones to the upper parts, very pale/whitish underparts with only light streaking on the flanks, a more prominent and paler supercilium, all features which make this a Water Pipit not Rock Pipit as I previously thought. This bird would probably have languished in the Rock/Water Pipit category had it not been for the record shots i managed to get, so i guess it proves that brief flyover 'vis mig' Water Pipits are possible to i.d as long as you have sharp eye's and ears and a DSLR! (Thanks to Brian Stretch and Phil Benstead for additional help and comments on the i.d of this very interesting and instructive bird!)  
Water Pipit flying West! Lutley Wedge 21/10/10 (The first record for Lutley)

Two more shots of Lutley's first Water Pipit, showing the clean/pale whitish underparts (which was a very noticeable and striking feature on the bird through bins) and only light flank streaking. Also note the sharp cut off from the dark streaking on the throat/upper breast and the paler/whitish belly.   

Fieldfares Lutley Wedge 21/10/10

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Lutley Wedge 20/10/10 07.50am (1°c) Sunny Cold and Frosty, clear skies. Wind NW F2

A Quiet start migration-wise this morning with only a handful of Redwing and small flocks of Wood Pigeon on the move. At 09.55am a high flock of 51 Fieldfare flew through heading West, then at 10.20am the floodgates opened! Flocks of Fieldfare began arriving at high altitude from the East and streamed through heading W/SW, with at least 1,205 Fieldfares flying over in 3 hours, (a new record count at Lutley Wedge). Some of the later flocks flew through very low over the Top Footpath, and the last flock of 82 birds 'dropped out' into the hedgerow around Foxcote Pond briefly.

Visible Migration 07.50-1.00pm
1205 Fieldfare >W/SW
26 Redwing (17 >S/SW) (9 >W/NW)
12 Meadow Pipit (11 >S/SW) (1 >E)
282 Wood Pigeon 
2 Reed Bunting >W/NW
12 Redpoll sp >S/SW
24 Siskin (13 >N/NW) (8 >W) (3 >ESE)
18 Skylark (9 >WNW) (9 >NE)
14 Jackdaw >W
71 Starling >W

Fieldfares and Clent Hills to the South Lutley Wedge 20/10/10

Flock of approx 150 Fieldfare going over the Clent Hills from Lutley Wedge 20/10/10

Fieldfares Lutley Wedge 20/10/10

Nocturnal Bird Migration Halesowen West Mids 20/10/10 

Clear conditions with an almost full moon, and a 'moon watch' tonight looking for signs of continuing 'nocturnal migration' after todays big Thrush influx. I managed to see and film one bird (probably a Redwing or other Thrush sp) as it migrated at night at high altitude, and crossed the face of the moon. The footage has been slowed down, and the bird can clearly be seen coming in from the upper left and transiting bottom right. 

Saturday, 16 October 2010

16/10/10 Lutley Wedge 07.40am (4°c) Cold, with clear skies. (scattered cloud 5/8 later a.m with rain showers p.m) Wind NW F2/3

A definite 'Red' letter day on the patch!  A stunning Red Kite flew in from way off to the South over the Clent Hills at 09.33am pursued/mobbed by a couple of Crows, and headed >NW low over the patch and Caslon wood. Also today a single Brambling flew over along with (1) Golden Plover, and (1) Cormorant. Thrush numbers were well down on previous days with only small numbers of Redwing seen, but a flock of 8 Raven that flew over >WSW was impressive.

Visible Migration 07.40-11.40am :-
1 Red Kite >NW
1 Golden Plover >WSW
1 Brambling
74 Redwing (24 >SW) (26 >W/SW) (22 >N/NE)
2 Siskin
1 Song Thrush >N
9 Skylark >W/NW
8 Meadow Pipit
10 Raven (2 >ESE) (8 >WSW)
167 Wood Pigeon >S/SW
1 Cormorant >ENE 

Red Kite heading NW Lutley Wedge 16/10/10

Golden Plover Lutley Wedge 16/10/10 

Male Sparrowhawk Lutley Wedge 16/10/10

2 of the flock of 8 Raven! Lutley Wedge 16/10/10