Sunday, June 28, 2020

Swiftly south..

Another visit to Boulmer this morning to meet up with John in less than ideal conditions.

It was windy and raining steadily under thickly overcast skies. From the cover of our two cars we soon noticed that some Swifts were on the move along the coast, John, on route here, had noticed about 60 near Seaton Point so we started a count.

From 6.30 until a little past 7.30am groups of between 40 and 140 appeared from the north, over the village, powering south sometimes so close over head the slash of scimitar wings in the wind could be heard as they passed.

Where these birds are going I couldn't say, but it seems early for true migration though the numbers involved seemed excessive for them to be feeding parties dodging a weather system? Overall we counted over 700 though local birder, Daniel, boosted the count to over a thousand from his viewpoint in the dunes where he could scan a further west horizon than we could.

As the numbers dried up, the weather didn't, so we called it a day and went home for breakfast but not before a 1st summer Mediterranean Gull skimmed south along the beach. The third bird present here recently.

Later, at home, I was pleased to see first one, then two Cuckoos at our lane end, more early or late migrants going one way or another because they don't breed locally. To bolster the unusual theme, a pair of Siskins fed on my niger feeder in the garden all afternoon...

Common birds continue to raise questions no matter how long we have watched them... 

Monday 29/06/20 Edit -  Yesterday 28k swifts flew south past Hunmanby Gap and this morning it is reportd that 22,500 had gone past Gibraltar Point by 7.15am! Puts our meagre count into perspective...

Some of the good numbers of Swifts as they moved south in grim weather this morning.

The view north from the Boulmer car park.

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