End of week report

October has now given me seven days worth of back garden sky watching, so it seems like a good time to report on what has been happening… not an awful lot really. Each day, from a numbers perspective, has been disappointing. Here is a bit of detail:

1st - I was dead keen, in the garden when it was still dark. A gusting wind and heavy rain found me cowering in the garage, watching through a side door that allows a view of the eastern sky. Spent most of that time observing which neighbour’s guttering was in need of repair. Nothing moving. 2 hours of my life that I’ll never get back.

2nd - another 06.45hrs start, again accompanied by a f2-3, then 5-6 SW wind and constant rain. More sheltering under garage and shed than proper birding. A few crumbs moved south - 2 Pied Wagtail, 1 Grey Wagtail, 12 Meadow Pipit, 1 Song Thrush, 2 Jay and 11 Goldfinch. Didn’t feel quite so cheated.

3rd - A three hour (7-10) shift that just proved that I wasn’t standing beneath a functioning fly line, although 15 Stock Dove, a House Martin and 27 Meadow Pipit tried to convince me otherwise.

4th -6th - I did stand there, honest, two hours from dawn on all three days. Staring at a grey sky, with the odd sunny sky, can be quite therapeutic. Birds? What’s a bird…

7th - no expectations on a feather-light SSW. 07.00 - 10.00hrs. True, a few bits did pass overhead, but they were few and far between. However, at 07.55hrs I found myself looking up incredulously at a low group of seven Little Egrets flying purposely SE. Result! Throw in 18 Stock Dove, 4 Swallow, 4 House Martin, 2 Skylark, 3 Meadow Pipit, a Grey Wagtail, 19 Redwing, a Linnet and a Chaffinch and it starts to feel like a morning well spent.

What next? I’m expecting a big push of Redwing at some time over the next three days. My garden has a good track record with thrush counts - 7k Redwing and 1.5k Fieldfare at best. A few hundred finches and close to 1k House Martin (although the latter better hurry up). Still time to see it all. I’ll be stood here waiting…


Gordon Hay said…
That was fun!
Did you notice how the flocks gained altitude as the morning progressed?
Steve Gale said…
I don’t know whether or not the only reason that we noticed more higher birds as the morning progressed was because there were fewer lower down that had taken our attention away from them Gordon.

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