Monday, 30 April 2012

Hirundines pour through 30th April

Whinchat taken with FinePix S4000
A good day with visible migration throughout the whole day. At Middle Hope this afternoon Swallows went through on a broad front following the coast and many could be seen heading up channel whilst sea watching. 1,000+ Swallow, 350 House Martin, 150 Swift, 3 Redstart, 3 Whinchat, 32 Wheatear, 14 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Hobby, 1 Cuckoo, 3 Sand Martin, 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 24 Goldfinch, 10 Whimbrel and a Sedge Warbler.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Fall conditions with mixed results

Common Swift
All you can do is make sure you turn up at your patch in fall conditions the rest is in the lap of the gods. Today good numbers of birds went through the region as expected but Brean was mediocre whilst Slimbridge had all the fun recording 300 Arctic Tern, 100+ Barwit plus smaller numbers of Little Tern, Grey Plover, Whimbrel and Swifts. Exminster Marshes recorded 1,000 Whimbrel.
Sea watching off the fort at Brean produced no sea birds just the usual gulls and a few Cormorants presumably commuters to and from Steep Holm. Weather conditions at 7am were 980mB, 85% dew point, 16.5mph south-easterly wind gusts recorded up to 26.8mph and temperatures at 6C wind chill of 2C. Final counts from 6:30 to 12:30: 20 Swift, 113 Swallow, 2 House Martin, Gropper, Redstart, 5 Yellow Wagtail, 5 Whitethroat, 2 Siskin, 1 Meadow Pipit, 60 Goldfinch, 25 Linnet, 1 alba wagtail, 20 Willow Warbler. 

Monday, 23 April 2012

Another rainy day, another mini fall 23rd April

Pied Flycatcher video still taken with FinepPix S4000
Brean Down: Pied Flycatcher, 7 Grasshopper Warbler, 40 Willow Warbler,10 Swallow, 1 Wheatear, 20 Blackcap, 5 Chiffchaff, 2 Whitethroat.
Sand Point: 13 Dunlin, Barwit and 9 Whimbrel

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Brean and Berrow 22nd April


Coleophora limosipennella case
Highlights on Brean: 2 Bonxie, 1 Fulmar, 2 Goosander, 2 Tree Pipit, 3 Whitethroat, 1 Wheatear. On the Axe 1 Whimbrel and 44 Black-headed Gull.
Berrow: 1 Lesser Whitethroat along with C.limosipennella case and Lunar Hornet exit hole.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Birds in every bush - 14th April

Pied Flycatcher male

Pied Flycatcher female



Conditions were ideal this morning with a 10mph NE wind, 1005mB barometer, 5 celcius, 75% humidity and plenty of low level cloud bringing drizzle most of the morning. 6:30am to 12:50pm: Birds turning up and leaving throughout the period making counting difficult especially the Willow Warblers. Gull numbers picked up from mid-morning and unusually were heading east instead of west. They came in off the sea over the down and out towards the Mendips where multiple sample counts came out at 28 a minute. Counts - 100 Willow Warbler, 25 Chiffchaff, 25 Blackcap, 5 Wheatear, 14 Redstart, 3 Pied Flycatcher, 1 Cuckoo. On the move 1 Merlin, 26 Swallow, 7 House Martin, 4 Tree Pipit.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Migrant news for 13th April

Elachista rufocinerea from Sand Point yesterday

The lack of cloud cover overnight dropped temperatures to zero degrees by dawn which was foggy at the start from virtually no wind. A small amount of nocturnal activity was noted but vismig was reduced to a trickle:
Brean this AM: 3 Gropper, 1 Redstart, 2 Tree Pipit, 15 Willow Warbler, 15 Blackcap, 5 Chiffchaff, 10 Swallow
Sand Point: 2 Gropper, 4 Redstart, 1 Wheatear, 7 Tree Pipit, 1 Crossbill, 40 Swallow, 3 House Mart, 2 Sand Mart per P.Gregory
Plumley Park: Red Kite over heading towards Worle Hill at 15:48 per Oliver Smart

Thursday, 12 April 2012

News from Sand Point

Ring Ouzel © Paul Gregory

Sand Point was not without it's fair share of birds during the current glut. All per P.Gregory: Yesterday 2 whitethroats and 3 Tree pipits, plus c6 Willow warblers and 8 siskin. Today, 2 male ring ouzels, gropper, 2 whitethroats (same birds) 2 tree pipits, whimbrel, again about 6 willow warblers but more spread around so could be different birds.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

3rd mini fall of the year


Willow Warbler inspecting a spiders web



Migrants have been few and far between on my patch since the beginning of March and I put the blame firmly on the weather. Fall conditions have been scarce largely due to the long periods of high pressure over the UK. Atlantic lows squeezing the high off to the east on the 15th March allowed a backlog of migrants through on 16th, 17th and 18th March. Next a Low developing in the Mediterranean and Bay of Biscay moved northwards reaching the UK on the evening of 22nd March brought a fall of Chiffchaffs the next day which incidentally went unrecorded on the south coast, an event sometimes recorded on radar in the 50's and 60's. Stubborn high pressure again dominated until nearly the end of the month when it moved west out to sea allowing Low over Scandinavia to move in. Dropping barometer levels, northerly winds and cloud signified the arrival on 31st bringing Portlands biggest fall on record. Sadly the further west you were the less you saw of the action. None of Portlands fortunes were echoed on my patch that day or the next. April started off slightly mixed with QNH quite high until the 8th when a drop to 990mB on 10th caused by a system passing through to the north. With only a 3mB rise today conditions remained suitable and a small fall was noted on the patch which like other sites held little variety perhaps owing to the early time of year.

Monday, 9 April 2012

9th April

Clouds forming over Bridgwater Bay

Powdered Quaker

3rd winter Herring Gull