Sunday, 29 April 2012

Storm Chasing

  • Bad weather brings the Hirundines down
Birding after severe weather, or even during the storm has been good to me over the years. Nothing like some good gusts to bring in the unexpected, and nothing like the bad weather to keep other people, (and other birders!) indoors, thus maximising my chances of finding something!

Last night's strong winds and heavy rain ended quite abruptly just after lunch, and for much of the afternoon there was a small but noticeable movement of Gulls over the village. Mainly Herring with at least 1 Lesser Blackback. Also a few Hirundines and a Swift plus a Raven. All heading West. The House list seems to have dried up recently, and it is occasions like this where a new addition might be added. Stock Dove, Peregrine, or pretty much any species of Wildfowl except Mallard would be much welcome. Today it was not to be though.

Late afternoon, I was able to head out to the River Test at Skidmore. This is an area that often turns up good birds, Ospreys migrating up the Test valley, and recently Short Eared Owl and Crane. I visit the area quite frequently since we got a dog, but the area has never really turned up anything good for me. Green Sandpiper is the best I can recall! plus a fly-away Egret that had a feel of "Great White" about it but didn't allow me to confirm 100%.

Today was much the same, some interest, but "could try harder" for Skidmore!
A Kingfisher along the River Blackwater, and a good number of Hirundines over the Test. Mainly House Martins, and what a superb sight watching these presumably tired and grounded migrants re-fuelling over the swollen river. Alos a pair of Little Grebes!