Saturday, 16 April 2016

North wind hold up

  Barn Swallow
 Barn Swallows
 Sand Martin
 Barn Swallows and Sand Martins
 Barn Swallows and Sand Martins. 100+ Barn Swallows today and a few Sand and House Martins, mainly hawking and resting on the Southern Lake. The wind turned round to a cold north-westerly overnight presumably being responsible for the fall of hirundines (it was quite warm yesterday).  
Male Whinchat . Other migrants included 4 Wheatear, 6 Yellow Wagtail and 1 Water Pipit. 
 Two Iceland Gulls today, one the wintering first-winter and this bird which is either an advanced second winter (the bill pattern is almost adult looking?) or a retarded third winter bird (extensive barring in the coverts and tail). 
 Short-eared Owl- a migrating bird getting hassled by the local corvids 

 This bird looked quite small and short winged so good to consider a migrating Long-eared Owl. However the white trailing edge to the wing (visible in bottom of three photos) and the dark primary tips (as opposed to fine barring) confirm it to be a Shot-eared Owl. Interesting to see how strong the scapular bar appears at distance. 
 Male Blackcap. Lots of warblers today included 10+ Blackcap, 6 Chiffchaff, 3 Willow Warbler, 7 Common Whitethroat, 5-6 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Sedge Warbler, 3 Reed Warbler and 1-2 Cetti's Warblers. 
 Adult female Reed Bunting. 4-5 Reed Buntings about. 
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Weather chart for today- a north-westerly pulling in Arctic cold air with warmer air south of the southern flank of the low pressure. Presumably birds were moving up in the warmer air and flew into the cooler conditions. 

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