Thursday, 13 October 2011

Better breeze brings birds to Bispham

The Safari faffed around for far too long doing not a lot in particular this morning. When we did eventually deign to look outside we saw that yesterday's Grey Squirrel had indeed seen the feeder full of sunny seeds and made a mental note of it.

As we waited for a better picture, through the now open window we heard a Meadow Pipit and that was our cue to chance sitting out in the garden.

It was now half past 10-ish, the temperature was an almost tropical 14C and our seat was nicely sheltered from the SSE breeze; light low cloud was interspersed by short spells of was a very pleasant autumn morning. Made all the more pleasant by what was about to unfold.
We hadn't been sat down more than a minute when a flock of six Jackdaws noisily 'jacked' southwards, followed shortly afterwards by a singleton. A Brown Hawker briefly buzzed over the pond, and the first of at least three dozen Meadow Pipits was heard, the biggest of the small number of flocks/groups we saw was only four, twice.
A different 'chack' had us look up and count 41 Fieldfares and during the session we had another three flocks of 27, 90-ish and 31. Apparently 'thousands' of winter thrushes had arrived at Spurn Point on the east coast yesterday and were expected over this side this morning. Good as these were, the season's first for the Safari, they were easily pipped off pole position when the cronk of a Raven was heard. We watched it cruise past calling all the while and it even gave us a tumble and roll for good measure - dream stuff and only our second record for Base Camp.

Finches were thin on the ground (aka in the air) - perhaps missed by being out too late - and represented by only two Chaffinches going south and two Greenfinches going east, the latter could well have been local birds rather than migrants.
An unidentified butterfly flitted through the garden a couple of times and was probably the same Red Admiral that we've seen over the last couple of days. The warm sunshine brought out a few hoverflies, including several Episyrphus balteatus (pic from August)and this Eristalis sp (tenax?) taken today.

With almost all the berries on next door's Rowan now devoured there was a notable lack of Blackbirds although the local Mistle Thush did put in an appearance but didn't stay long...amazing how a bit of light can improve yer pics!

The gulls alerted us to a very high and chunky looking raptor which wasn't identified until it got much nearer, a bruiser of a female Sparrowhawk that had us thinking/hoping of something beginning with 'G' for a while! Not long afterwards a much smaller male circled by at a much lower altitude.
After nearly two hours the birds dried up a bit so we had a bit of lunch before going out again.

Like the morning, the start of the afternoon session gave us a Jackdaw almost straight away. A few more Meadow Pipits went past but it was fairly quiet.

The feeders, untouched while we watched this morning attracted a couple of Blue Tits and a Great Tit called nearby.
We thought we heard a Goldcrest calling from the bottom of the garden but couldn't see it...a very cautious venture up the garden path (a trip or slip could have been disasterous) had us only finding a skulking Dunnock.
Now that the wind is in the south it is much harder to see the Peregrines; we could just about make out half a one hidden behind the cabling on the north face of the tower. There could easily have been another as only a yard further round would have put it out of view.

By mid-afternoon it was a steamy 16 1/2C and the butterfly came cruising past again - yep; it was the Red Admiral all along.

Two slight, and identical looking, pigeons flew past southwards and into the light, something about them said Stock Dove but sadly they were unclaimable - woulda been been a humdinger of a garden of those occassions when the sky watching seat would have given much longer views in better light for a clincher one way or the other.

Another 'jack-jack' alerted us to what we thought was another flock of Jackdaws going over but it was just a singleton - how do they manage to sound like there's 10 of them when in fact it's only a flock of one?

Wonder what we missed by not getting out a couple of hours earlier...also seriously need to get that sky watching seat (= observation platform) built on the garage roof - would improve the vista no end being another 10 feet/3 m higher and not sat down in a 'hole' as we are now.

That lot took some serious typing with 'good' hand so if the same thrills and excitement happens tomorrow you'll just be getting a simple list.

Where to next? Gonna try to get that laundry in - it's been on the line a full 10 days!!! Should really wait for Wifey just to be on the safe side...better not rain before she gets home!!!
In the meantime let us know what's sitting on the lines in your outback.


Anonymous said...

A good Thrush movement across here too this morning, Dave.

Warren Baker said...

You should stay at home more often Dave - some impressive sightings from your seat today!

Stephen Dunstan said...

Redwings are pouring over Blackpool tonight.