Saturday, November 10, 2012

♀Smew Day Six

I've been amazed by the shear numbers of Woodpigeon on the move over the past week, a bird you wouldn't normally associate with migration. In fact a little research deepens the mystery with no one actually knowing where these birds come from or go to!

Reading the BTO migration blog there are two schools of thought. They may be British birds heading south and west for the relatively mild conditions that this part of the UK offers, although there doesn't seem to be a large influx of Woodpigeons into Devon and Cornwall during November. Alternatively they may be British birds that are heading south and on to France and Spain to spend the winter in southern oak woods, fascinating stuff.

Another bird in large numbers locally has been the Fieldfare with a flock of at least 200 over the marina on Friday. Yesterday evening also produced a small number of Golden Plover when I noticed about a dozen birds heading towards Napton Reservoir. The marina feeders have been busy with the usual Finches and both Tree and House Sparrow. Sadly still no Brambling to report!

At Brandon Marsh today Bob Lee and Jeff Hood reported 20 or so Golden Plover over the reserve around 8.30am. I managed 10 which dropped onto East marsh Pool, 3 of which moved on pretty rapidly leaving 7 birds still on site when I left. My first sighting of the ♀Smew today (now day six) was unusually on Swallow Pool when it was seen in the company of 4 Tufted Duck. Later she seemed to prefer the area around Baldwin Hide back on East Marsh Pool.

Blackbird numbers have increased and several large flocks of Redwing and Fieldfare were also recorded, plus a large flock of Siskin were also busy in the Alder and a small number of Lesser Redpoll were also recorded over the reserve.

Also recorded of note: Willow Tit (2), Coal Tit (2), Goldcrest (6), Linnet (2 over), Bullfinch (3♂2♀), Skylark (2 over), Mistle Thrush (1), Song Thrush (1), Snipe (4), Wigeon (8), Goldeneye (♂2), Kingfisher (2), Water Rail (1 heard), Cetti's Warbler (2 heard), Treecreeper (1), Nuthatch (2), Sparrowhawk (2)