Wednesday, 13 October 2021

A Day Of Two Halves - First Half (10/10/21)

The weather forecast for Sunday was actually pretty decent with no inclement weather forecast and some actual sunshine for most of the day. I had intended on an early start and trip to Riverside Nature Park to see how the vis-mig there compared to that from the top of the Law. However, I was too tired to walk the hour each way, so decided rather than stay in bed I would head back up the Law and see how things were in the sunshine rather than the windy overcast conditions of the previous couple of visits.

Carrion Crow

I was undecided what to wear as the temperature was forecast to be quite warm but I found that when I headed out at 0710 that it was actually colder than expected and at the top of the hill it was even colder in the wind and I was glad I'd chosen to over-dress. Herring Gull, Feral Pigeon, Robin, Carrion Crow, some Pink Footed Geese and Blue Tit were noted on the walk to the hill, with a Pied Wagtail heard as I climbed the steps. At the top, it was even busier than the previous day with quite a lot of folk around to watch the sunrise. I got organised at my usual spot for a start time of 0725.

The first Meadow Pipit went through ten minutes later and three Linnets followed suit five minutes after that. Oystercatchers could be heard somewhere to the north. Another three Meadow Pipits headed southwest after one was heard calling just before the Pink Footed Geese began to leave from their roost on the river. Three Starlings headed over before a Chaffinch flew past going east. Another heard only singleton and a group of five Meadow Pipits plus a heard only Pied Wagtail were followed by four single Meadow Pipits giving a fifteen minute flurry of activity, even if it was mostly just Pipits.

Bullfinch was heard but not seen, before the first of the Magpies put in an appearance. During the quiet spells I watched the resident group of Carrion Crows 'playing' in the wind, with one attempting to grab a plastic tube sticking out from a light on the mast, while in flight. Another toyed with a pine cone which it dropped and caught in flight, while others chased each other around and even indulged in some very Raven-like aerobatics.  At one point, one of the birds actually smacked a wing off the metal of the mast with an audible 'thump' but showed no obvious discomfort. A Goldfinch flew by and Coal Tit and Dunnock were both heard calling. A Woodpigeon flew past, potentially another migrant. The movement of geese skeins to the northwest of the city seemed quieter than on my previous visits. A Lesser Redpoll went west at 0819 with three more Meadow Pipits following two minutes later.

Another single and a pair followed around 0830. Two local Bullfinches flew round the hill. A bit of a surprise at 0838 were a small group of four Swallows. As I watched them continue on their way west, a trio of Goosanders passed the hill from the north towards the river. A Sparrowhawk put in an appearance at 0839. Between 0840 and 0900 another dozen or so Meadow Pipits were noted in dribs and drabs. A single Mistle Thrush headed north east at 0900. A Goldcrest was heard from the trees. Things then slowed down ever further than they already were with just two single and one pair of Meadow Pipits noted over the course of the next 25 minutes.

I heard Skylarks calling from somewhere high above on a couple of occasions but failed to see them. A pair of Reed Buntings headed southwest at 0923 and another Redpoll was heard a couple of minutes later. A Red Admiral butterfly landed on the building below the mast and sunned itself out of the wind. Despite the crawl of migrants getting even slower I stuck things out till 1000 with more Skylarks heard but not seen and a couple of Chaffinches seen around 0945. Another Sparrowhawk was seen to the southwest being harassed by a corvid, and at 0959 I spotted two rather distant birds heading south. House Sparrow and Blackbird were noted on the walk home.

Despite the better weather conditions it seemed to be mostly Meadow Pipits that were moving through with much less variety than previous days. It was interesting that there was much less evidence of Chaffinches - suggesting that some of the birds assumed to be locals may well have been migrants stopping off to feed up around the hill after all. I managed a total of 30 species which was marginally less than both Thursday and Saturday's totals. Although it was a lot colder than expected it was still an interesting couple of hours with the exploits of the 'teenage delinquent' Carrion Crows keeping me amused during the often lengthy lulls.

Linnet
Pink Footed Goose
Starling
Meadow Pipit
Meadow Pipit
Goldfinch
Pink Footed Goose
Carrion Crow
Carrion Crow
Carrion Crow
Meadow Pipit
Meadow Pipit
Pink Footed Goose
Goosander
Sparrowhawk
Sparrowhawk (& Pink Footed Goose)
Sparrowhawk
Meadow Pipit
Meadow Pipit
Carrion Crow
Woodpigeon
Carrion Crow
Carrion Crow
Carrion Crow
Mistle Thrush
Pink Footed Goose
Meadow Pipit
Carrion Crow
Carrion Crow
Pink Footed Goose
Carrion Crow
Pink Footed Goose
Reed Bunting
Carrion Crow
Carrion Crow
Bullfinch
Carrion Crow
Magpie
Carrion Crow & Sparrowhawk


Red Admiral


Birds - Blackbird, Blue Tit, Bullfinch, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch, Coal Tit, Dunnock, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Goosander, Great Tit, Grey Wagtail, Herring Gull, House Sparrow, Lesser Redpoll, Linnet, Magpie, Meado Pipit, Mistle Thrush, Oystercatcher, Pied Wagtail, Pink Footed Goose, Reed Bunting, Robin, Feral Pigeon, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Swallow, Woodpigeon, Wren.

Butterfly - Red Admiral.




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