Thursday, 14 October 2010

Lutley Wedge 14/10/10 07.30am (7°c) Cold, Grey and overcast with low cloud 8/8 and patchy mizzle. Wind N F1

Fewer birds moving this morning in the decidedly cold, heavily overcast and murky conditions. The weather however did 'ground' a very late Wheatear (on plumage a probable 'Greenland race/leucorhoa) in the horse paddocks briefly, before it was chased off by Pied Wagtails! This is without doubt my latest ever Wheatear at Lutley Wedge. Much lower numbers of Redwings flew through along with just 3 Fieldfare, and in the colder conditions there were signs that Wood Pigeon passage was just getting underway.
Visible Migration 07.30-11.10am :-
1 Wheatear
146 Redwing (57 >N/NW) (66 >S/SE/SW) (10 >E/NE)
3 Fieldfare (1 >N) (2 >W)
4 Song Thrush >NW/NE
5 Blackbird
12 Meadow Pipit (10 >S/SW)
15 alba Wagtail (3 >S/SW/SE)
1 Goldcrest
1 Redpoll sp >S
11 Siskin (9 >N+in) (2 >S)
1 Grey Heron >SSW in
178 Wood Pigeon (146 >S) (32 >SSW)

Over the last few days I have been attempting to make some recordings and sonograms of Redwing flight calls. This is easier said than done at a semi-urban watchpoint like Lutley Wedge! Conditions have to be just right, i.e the birds have to be migrating reasonably low overhead, on a day without too much wind noise for the mic, too many car alarms going off, police sirens, shouting/whistling dog-walkers, barking packs of out of control dogs, pneumatic drills from nearby road works etc etc!   
Below are two examples from some of the thousands of Redwings that have been migrating overhead during the early morning skywatches. To me, the thin 'seeep' call of nocturnal migrating Redwing at night is one of the most evocative sounds, and something I listen out for every autumn. 'Non-visable acoustic migration'!

Redwing Flight Call (sonogram) Lutley Wedge 12/10/10
Redwing (Flight Call) Lutley Wedge 12/10/10 by Lutley Birder

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