We’re up in Harrogate at the moment, helping clear the house ahead of a move. In our spare time we have managed a couple of trips over to Flamborough, with mixed results, some nice migrants on Monday, and a bit of a poor day today, rescued by a fantastic Hoopoe that was cleaning the gutters in a housing estate in Collingham.
Bird migration is easing off a bit, but a bit of warm weather and low winds has made it worth putting the moth trap out. The catch hasn’t been spectacular, but 36 Boxworm on 13th is quite a lot and Plumed Fan-foot is new for the house list, as is Golden Twin-spot, a stunning moth.
The local birding seems to have fallen into a Groundhog Day of Spotted Flycatchers, Wheatears, Whinchats and Redstarts, along with my customary failure to see the Tree Pipits and Crossbills that other local birders see regularly. This week we actually got into the car to go birding, after work on Wednesday to find some Dotterels at Ditchling Beacon, poor pictures in dreadful light, alas, and on Saturday over to Pagham Harbour, to see a Red-backed Shrike and on to Thorney Island to catch up with Osprey. Today returned to type on Cissbury Ring, with the only variation being a lack of Whinchat and our first Sedge Warbler of the autumn.
A 12 mile walk yesterday over the Downs had no rarities, but a remarkable number of more common migrants, including 26 Redstarts, 20 Spotted Flycatchers, 10 Wheatears a few Yellow Wagtails and 28 Whinchats. A flock of over 30 Corn Buntings enjoying an evening drink was an indication that autumn is upon us. We had a really weird looking Chiffchaff, which looked even weirder in real life than it does in the photo. It’s been a quiet bank holiday at home, with only a few migrants, but the Reed Warbler inspecting the pond was a real treat, only our second ever in the garden.