Sunday, 26 September 2010

A picnic with hirundines

There are still some days when the 'hard-core' birder within me tries to break out. Today was such a day. I was sitting on the beach at Ferring, in West Sussex with my family enjoying a rather fine picnic lunch. The sun was shining and the only ornithological interference came from a couple of Sandwich Terns that were patrolling the beach. Then the cloud arrived, and with it the first House Martins, which flew low and purposefully westwards, some of them passing inbetween our sitting group. After five minutes it was obvious that these hirundines were not an isolated flock but the vanguard of something altogether grander. I spent more time paying attention to the visible migrants (apart from when it was time for coffee and cake!) and it was then that I ached for that Empidonax flycatcher on Blakeney Point or one of the inland Gannets that have delighted a number of patchworkers. Calming my birding hyperventalation down, I kept calm, and for the next two hours reckoned on 12,000 House Martins having poured through our picnic site. Magic.

Caddis fly update: I reckon that it is a Limnephilus lunatus. I could be wrong...


  1. "Magic"
    The one word that describes the wonder of migration.

  2. 12 thousand! Get in there, beats the unidentifiable any day...