On Friday morning, over night easterlies with very heavy rain resulted in good conditions for a movement of birds over our garden.
After checking a woefully quiet moth trap, it became apparent that birds were dropping in around all around me. Its days like these when work seems to get in the way, but I stood on our drive counting from 07.45am - 0815am before the work bell rang....
Redwing 428 ( in groups of up to 80)
Song Thrush 12
I was keen then to check out this morning anything missed from yesterday.
I took Bunty for her walk just around the village/ garden / back hedge area, all within sight of home really and was pleased with the results.
First up was a calling Brambling near the Village Hall. A second was in the copse later. A Snipe flew south very high up, then a nice female Redstart was seen flycatching at the corner of the back hedge.
A few Skylarks and Meadow Pipits were flying south and I heard Crossbills on three occasions but they remained unseen.
Over at the coast path, a Snow Bunting flew north 'peeuu-ing' overhead. A great surprise here was a first for me, a tight flock of 13 Coal Tits flying south along the coast, calling constantly, quite high up. I have heard about these tit migrations but have not witnessed it first hand.
Now for the panic attack.
While checking the copse, I could hear a mass of mobbing birds from a lone gorse bush about 10 yards from the coast. I though this might pay investigation, hoping for a patch Long eared Owl. Stalking carefully and scanning with bins, a bird broke cover - a 'little'owl! It flew into the light and landed in scrub half a field away. The birds were still mobbing and I went in pursuit, mind racing. I have not seen Little Owl here before, but with all the talk of erupting Tengmalms in Scandinavia.. Despite careful scrutiny then close examination it was nowhere to be seen. It had obviously made an exit out of my sight...
I'm kind of pleased really, I couldn't be doing with the pressure of finding a Tengmalms!
Back home, a second winter Mediterranean Gull was flycatching over the back field with Black headeds and Common Gulls and 4 Barnacle Geese flew south.
A good day on the patch...