Tuesday, 25 August 2015

A Nice Drop

 Adult male (autumn) Wheatear. The striking mask, black remiges and grey fringes to the greater coverts identify this as a male. Adult Wheatears undergo a full body moult before migrating. This plumage will now spend the winter wearing away (with some partial moult) to reveal the stunning characteristic Spring male plumage.  
 Female/first-winter Wheatear. Difficult to tell whether an adult female or a first-winter bird. Some first-winters show a moult limit in the greater coverts- not visible here.
 Two adult male and two female/first-winter Wheatears
 Whitethroat and 2 Whinchat.  A nice fall (drop) of passerine migrants today including 6 Wheatears, 3 Whinchat, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 4 Willow Warbler, 30 Chiffchaff, 2 Whitethroat, 4 Blackcap, 1 Sedge Warbler, 3 Yellow Wagtail and a nice mix of waterbirds too. 
 Juvenile Ruff- the first for the year 
 Juvenile Wood Sandpiper- still present. Other waders on site today included 1 Grey Plover (first for the year), 1 Ruff, 2 Greenshank, 17 Green Sandpiper, 2 Snipe, 15 Lapwing and 3 Common Sandpiper.
 Shovelers. There was also an influx of ducks with 18 Shoveler, 50+ Teal, 60 Mallard and a juvenile female Wigeon - the first of the autumn.
 Weather conditions yesterday (above and below). A moderate and variable southeast to northeast airflow with substantial rain that presumably pushed migrants across the north sea into the region (e.g. good falls of migrants in Northeast England yesterday). Little Tern and a few other migrants were recorded at the farmlands yesterday
 

 

Weather today. The complex area of three low pressures have produced a westerly airflow (opposite to yesterday). Migrants have switched from a tail wind to a head wind within a few hours with a series of frontal systems and rain to navigate round. Presumably the relationship between the deflecting tail wind and then the obstructing head wind and wet fronts have created fall conditions
 The last of the Swifts are moving through now- 18 yesterday and 15 today. 12 House Martin, 6 Sand Martin and 5 Swallow today also. The main hirundine movement is yet to come but an early autumn passage of Sand Martin this year could indicate we are post peak for that species already.
 Another interesting arrival today was an additional 9 Mute Swans (3 adults and 6 juveniles ) to add to the existing three breeding pairs (6 adults and 17 young) taking the total to 32. Things got a bit heated on the Northern Lake with the new group invading the defended territory there- it kicked off a bit but after a while the new group settled in the canal away from the others.
 Juvenile Kestrel- also 2 juvenile Peregrine and 1 Hobby today
Small Heath- the first one in three years to be recorded at the farmlands. An indicator of good meadow habitat (found in the Bird group meadow)

5 comments:

SJH said...

The last time I was in that sort of weather was at Rainham Marshes last year

Peter Alfrey said...

same

SJH said...

Heading there again today - think of us!

Peter Alfrey said...

Just back from Beddington- wet!

SJH said...

Rainham - blowing a houlie!