Friday, 16 November 2012

Was it really that Bad-minston?

Decided to run an experiment this Autumn and moved closer to the coast for my vis-mig sessions. I decided on Badminston mainly due to it's cracking panoramic view, and fairly obvious flightpath between Lepe and the gap between Fawley Power station and the refinery.

In total, I spent 26 hours(!) this Autumn watching the migration passing over my head, and although it was fairly pleasant, it never really felt *that* good! Highlights were fairly modest: a Marsh Harrier, an Osprey, and that was about it really.

However, vis-mig is all about numbers and it actually performed better, on average, than my other watchpoint overlooking the Test Valley. From Trektellen:

2010 Lower Brook: 3000 birds of 47 species in 26 hours (7000 Starlings excluded from the total as they were a local movement of birds heading to evening roost. Pretty spectacular nonetheless!)
2011 Lower Brook:  2775 birds of 35 species in 15 hours
2012 Badminston: 4453 birds of 63 species in 26 hours

Badminston doesn't feel too good because it lacked a "big day" of 1000's birds per hour. I'm sure the site is capable of great numbers, it just didn't happen in 2012. It also lacked the quality of Lower Brook, where a couple of flyover Lapland Buntings made the entire 2011 Autumn worthwhile. Badminton also lacks the daily commute of Gulls which head up the Test Valley.. amongst the many hundreds of Gulls (not counted in the Trektellen totals above as they are on a daily commute and not true migrants), was a single Kittiwake. Again good quality for an inland site, but overall the Gulls were more of a distraction than anything!

The vis-mig on Trektellen is a good thing to get involved in. The totals find their way onto the BTO database, and the County stats. I don't think I have the dedication to stay in the same spot every Autumn, so the question is where to watch from next year? Badminston, Lower Brook, both, or somewhere new again?

Badminston 2012 on trektellen
Lower Brook 2011 on Trektellen
Lower Brook 2010 on Trektellen