Thursday, 20 September 2012

September update as migration steps up a gear

* Vis-mig switched to the coast, with limited success
* Meadow Pipit added to House list
* Nathusius’s Pipistrelle Survey.. Highlight was a Nathusius’s Pipistrelle
* Badger watch.

Vis Mig at Badminston continues at a reasonable pace. Numbers aren’t particularly high just yet, and I’m not sure if I am sitting in the optimum location. Slow moving Hirundines seem to pass tantalizingly North of me which is no problem, but finches and Pipits could be going undetected so a tweak of the viewing location might be in order. Best bird so far has been an Osprey, and judging by recent reports from the North end of Southampton Water, I suspect a decent number of Ospreys pass the area. Any change in my location needs to ensure the flyway past the power station is still in view.

Closer to home, Meadow Pipit was added to the house list during a fairly massive movement across the region (e.g. a few hundred over Christchurch Harbour). This has been a very elusive species over the house, despite them being regular in fields 400 yards away!

Finally, on a long dog walk yesterday (19th Sept.) I logged a big increase in numbers around Hoe Lane: large groups of Swallows and House Martins, about 50 Gulls (mainly Herring Gulls) on a fresh plough, plus Meadow Pipit, and 2 Wheatears.

Aside from birds, I have repeated the Nathusius’s Pipistrelle survey at the beginning of September at Testwood lakes. At least one Nathusius was picked up, very late in the survey, and up to three on the repeat survey. 
Been a good month for Mammals with  incredible close up views of Fox and Badger being fed in a New Forest garden. The Badgers literally pressed against the patio door waiting for food.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Slow Vis Mig and an ex-Polecat

Saturday morning was a very poor vis-mig session, with just a couple of hundred Woodpigeons on the move, and these were, worryingly, a long way West of my favoured position, in a very light West wind and thick cloud cover. The morning was at least brightened up by a few migrants on the ground including Spotted flycatcher, Blackcap, and a few Chiff-chaffs.

This is turning into a pretty dismal year for finding birds.. I don't recall seeing a Whinchat so far! let alone some of the more scarcer species. Another species that seems to be in short supply locally is Yellow Wagtail. There seem to be a lot more records East of Southampton Water than West where I tend to focus.

Also, sad to report a Polecat dead on the side of the A3057 near Ashfield. Such a rare and elusive Mammal, a pity I have only ever seen dead ones, and amazing to think this one has passed less than a mile from my house.. picture, slightly gory!

Polecat, Roadkill sadly, September being the peak month for dispersing Polecats to succumb to traffic accidents. An animal I have never seen live in the wild.