Three days of freezing conditions with daytime temperatures not rising above 0°c and overnight dropping as low as -7°c, finally induced some excellent cold weather movements of waders over the patch today from 09.50am.
(155) Lapwing, (70) Golden Plover and (2) Snipe flew over in c3.5 hours with Lapwing mainly moving West and Golden Plover heading South/SW.
155 Lapwing (144➝W) (11➝S/SW) (largest flocks 32, 27 and 24)
70 Golden Plover (56➝S) (14➝SW) (flocks of 8, 40, 8 and 14)
A much quieter day for migration in an increasing F3-F4 NE wind and with the blocking low cloud and drizzle still in place. A Common Gull flew through heading south, only the second sighting on the patch this year and a single Brambling flew over.
The first Snipe on the patch this year flew over heading west with a flock of Redwing at 09.12am and 2 Brambling were seen, one flying high to the NNW at 11.32am and another mixed in with a large flock of 150+ Chaffinch. Starling were on the move in good numbers with a total of at least 1,040 moving through below the low cloud base. There was an obvious arrival of Redwing overnight, with birds moving in all directions in the foggy conditions and the first Fieldfare of the autumn flew through.
1 Snipe ➝W (flew over west with a flock of Redwing)
"Deluge of migrants hit the east coast but few make it inland" A warm front pushed north overnight bringing low cloud, persistent drizzle and light rain to the Midlands and effectively blocking any migration from further east. Vis mig was virtually non existent in the grim conditions though the first Brambling of the autumn flew north. 1 Brambling ➝N 12 Redwing (2➝W) (3➝S) (1➝N) (5 in) 3 Song Thrush (1➝N) (2 in) 1 Redpoll sp ➝SW 39 Starling➝W 2 Herring Gull➝W
Thick fog at dawn meant signs of migration were limited to a few Redwing and Song Thrush contact calls drifting down out of the clag early on. There was a small movement of Meadow Pipit as the fog lifted and visibility improved around 10.30am including a flock of (19) high to the South and (2) Golden Plover flew through very high to the SSW at 11.05am. Still no sign of any Fieldfare.
2 Golden Plover➝SSW
10 Redwing (2➝S in)
5 Song Thrush (3➝NE)
46 Meadow Pipit (40➝S/SW) (2➝W)
1 alba Wagtail➝S
1 Redpoll sp➝S/SW
Redwing recording and sonogram Lutley Wedge 21/10/12
A stunning juv/♀Marsh Harrier (SLC) flew through low N/NW at 08.05am (the first sighting at Lutley Wedge). Possibly the same bird was seen 35 minutes later, flying NW over Smestow Valley Wolverhampton approx 10 miles to the NW.
1 (Juv/♀) Marsh Harrier ➝N/NW
2 Redwing ➝S
4 Meadow Pipit ➝S
♀/Juv Marsh Harrier 8/10/12 (a long awaited patch first!!)
The best day this autumn for Meadow Pipit passage with (440) flying through in 4 hours from 07.30 and birds still trickling through when I left the watchpoint at 11.30. Initially pipits were going over very high in the calm conditions, but passage picked up again late morning as skies cleared, with more birds coming through lower and on a mostly SSW track. (5) Golden Plover flew over heading West at 07.50am.
House Martins were on the move in good numbers, with 460 flying through in four hours this morning from first light, also reasonable numbers of Meadow Pipits trickling overhead throughout the watch. A probable Goosander flew over extremely high and heading NNE, but just too high and fast to clinch, and a Peregrine flew through again hunting Woodpigeon.
460 House Martin ➝S/SW/WSW (largest flocks 66, 53)
70 Swallow ➝S/SW
1 Chiffchaff (in)
210 Meadow Pipit➝S/SW
2 Siskin (1➝S)
26 alba Wagtail ➝S/SW
1 Thrush sp (Redwing/Song Thrush) ➝SSW
2 Jay ➝NE
(always nice when migrants drop in at your vis mig watchpoint, right where your stood!...)
Fine and clear conditions this morning with plenty of high level vis mig as a result. The first (11) Golden Plover this autumn flew very high to the east at 08.55am, followed by (2) ♂♀Goosander high west at 09.08am the first Goosander on the patch this year. A Peregrine flew west hunting Woodpigeon at 07.30am. Meadow Pipits were again on the move from first light with at least (256) heading S/SW in 4 hours.
An excellent morning for passage raptors if not the weather! A superb Red Kite flew low SSW at 07.53am and a Peregrine flew over WNW. A trickle of Mipits, Swallows and House Martins struggled through overhead though the increasingly frequent rain showers and drizzle coming through later in the morning seemed to kill off any meaningful vis mig.
Meadow Pipits were on the move from first light heading S/SW in good numbers, with (332) flying through in a 4 hour watch. Some birds were probably missed as they came through at high altitude at times in the clear calm conditions especially early on. Passage eased off late morning but birds were still trickling through as i left the watchpoint at 11am. The very poor passage for Yellow Wagtail on the patch this autumn continued, with just (1) flava Wagtail flying through, but there were the first signs of Siskin passage getting going with (6) flying over.
A change of wind direction to the SSE and heavily overcast skies this morning. Vis mig kicked in with (9) Tree Pipits flying over in 3 hours between 6.40am-9.40am (a new record day count at Lutley), also 2 Yellow Wagtail flew through SW.
9 Tree Pipit (6➝S/SW) (1➝ESE) (2 in, then 1➝S and 1➝ESE)
2 flava Wagtail ➝SW
39 Swallow (9➝S/SW) (26➝W)
43 House Martin (27➝S/SE)
30 Swift (6➝SW) (20➝WSW)
Tree Pipit Lutley Wedge 27/8/12
The sweet sound of vis mig! Tree Pipit sonograms and sound recordings Lutley Wedge 27/8/12.....
Vis mig again deathly quiet, though very much the case of the 'one that got away' this morning as a very high and distant wader flew over WNW at 0725am, but just too high and far away to i.d!! The first Redpoll of the autumn flew through along with 5 Cormorant.
A Crossbill flew south over Wassell Grove Pools at 10.33am, followed by a Tree Pipit south at 10.45am. Another Tree Pipit dropped out into the horse paddock near Foxcote House farm briefly at 09.45am. There was an influx of c70 Swifts late morning, with most moving off to the S/SW.
1 Crossbill ➝S
2 Tree Pipit (1➝S) (1 in)
c70 House Martin
1 Herring Gull➝E
Tree Pipit 21/8/12
Swift and 'tail-less' House Martin 21/8/12 (Bizarrely two House Martins in the flock today had no tail feathers!)
(9) Ringed Plover flew over heading high to the west at 10.28am (the first record at Lutley Wedge). A ♀ Crossbill flew south at 07.28am also (1) Spotted Flycatcher, (1) Tree Pipit and a Yellow Wagtail over.
9 Ringed Plover ➝W
1 Crossbill ➝S
1 Spotted Flycatcher ➝W
1 Tree Pipit
1 flava Wagtail
4 Willow Warbler
c50 House Martin
1 Red Admiral➝SW
♀ Crossbill 19/8/12
Spotted Flycatcher 19/8/12
My first ever vis mig Spot Fly had me scratching my head to begin with, as i picked it up coming in high from the east. Looking overall dark and long winged, but totally silent which quickly eliminated Tree Pipit, it had an unmistakeable undulating flight action and jizz similar to Wheatear. In the record photos you can just make out the pale edged secondaries forming a lighter panel on the folded wing, dark beady eye and overall greyish plumage tones and the indistinct pale-ish wing bar/line on the upperwing. A very instructive bird!
Willow Warbler 19/8/12
What is it with passage Willow Warblers and powerlines!?