Adventures in an empty corner

Birding musings and ramblings around South-east Cornwall - the empty corner of the county.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

And as if by magic....(with apologies to Mr Ben)

The birds appeared!

That easterly wind completely transformed the peninsula with wave upon wave of pipits, hirundines, larks and finches moving through all morning. Expectation was high for a fly-over goodie but despite searching the fields for a couple of hours nothing out of the ordinary could be found.
This wagtail with white coverts had me going for a while, but I think any hope of lucopsis is just clutching at (very short) straws

It's a heavy crop in a strong wind so please excuse the quality!!

Coming up with any numbers is always difficult with birds moving constantly. I'm pretty sure that around 300 linnets is about right because they were pretty settled in a couple of newly ploughed fields. As for the rest - well 100+ Goldfinch;200+ Meadow Pipit;  400-500 Skylarks and about the same number of Swallows, with a few House Martins for added interest. I missed the 100+ Redwing that Bruce found earlier in the morning but managed to catch up with a couple gorging on berries around the church.

I tried to take a few photos of the movement but with a 120-400mm lens the field of view was very narrow and my futile attempts don't convey just how many birds were moving through:

 Part of a group of Skylarks moving east over the Military Road Penlee looking over Towards Maker.
 More Skylarks moving east.
Linnets taking advantage of a newly ploughed field.

Most of the movement was over by midday though a few hirundines continued to move through until mid afternoon. It certainly kept the local raptors busy and two Kestrels and at least three Sparrowhawks were in view almost constantly. A Merlin was also buzzing the area though sadly it wasn't the kind I was hoping to see!

Surprisingly, given the numbers of birds moving through, there were considerably fewer around the church and down at Forder. The Firecrest from yesterday had disappeared and most of the Goldcrest and Chiffchaff had gone too. It only takes one bird though and with continuing easterlies I hope it won't be long until something rather special turns up!

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