Monday, October 08, 2012


Lesser Redpolls Arriving!
The lighter winds along with a slight directional change over the weekend did manage to bring in more of our winter visitors and indeed on Sunday morning after the fog lifted there was a short spell of visible migration at Brandon Marsh. Having tracked most of the reserve during the morning I was able to record reasonable numbers of birds passing overhead at various points and these are listed along with other notables at the bottom of this post.

Before the fog finally lifted my first couple of Redwings of the autumn were found feeding in Hawthorn near the Sheepfield gate and a final count for the day of six birds wasn't a bad start. There were also a few small flocks of Thrushes on the move over the Newlands reed beds and I'm certain several birds were Fieldfare, although there distinct calls were not heard at the time so I've not recorded them. There's also a large flock of Siskin hanging around the reserve with several Lesser Redpoll within so worth scrutinising if you come across them.

Swallows and Martins are now few and far between and recent reports of 40+ Sand Martins at Brandon are a mystery to me! I managed 2 Swallows passing over the car park as I was on my way home Sunday!

Jays on the move!
Jays are still on the move, an amazing passage of at least 668 were recorded passing over Hunstanton, Norfolk on 6 October, and birds continue to be seen in unusual numbers and in unusual places. The picture is complicated by native birds dispersing further afield from breeding areas in search of food, as the acorn crop seems to be very poor in some areas of the UK this year. I managed a credible 26 birds at Brandon on Sunday, mostly moving south and east, a reserve best for me.

As I reported last week Skylarks are also on the move and at the marina birds can be constantly heard passing through with a decent amount laying over in the surrounding fields.

Also of note was a small flock of around 20 or so Golden Plover which passed over the marina this afternoon.

Brandon Sunday: Jay (26), Skylark (21 over), Meadow Pipit (16 over), Siskin (33), Lesser Redpoll (4), Linnet (8 over), Goldcrest (4), Swallow (2 over), Barn Owl (1), Cetti's Warbler (3 heard), Nuthatch (2), Sparrowhawk (1), Buzzard (4).