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An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to the see the natural world as a place for competition. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!

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Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Sat back and enjoyed the show

Appologies for the tardiness of this blog entry - it refers to the events of yesterday morning! Such is the way of my hectic lifestyle, it is over 24hrs after the events that I find time to recall them. Fairly routine; the start of my day saw me making early morning tea, for Bev, before examining the contents of the moth trap. Steve Gale's "brown is the colour" post being equally relavent in my case. It was a strange sort of dull, dank day which suggested that a few migrants might be about. I hung around, in the garden, awaiting my chance of "that" chiffchaff in the bird bath shot - it never happened.
Just after Bev had left for work the action began. In the gloom I could hear the excited calls of House Martins - in the next 30 minutes I'd counted 1,300+ moving steadily ENE overhead, Swallows were also on the move, but outnumbered at least 8 to 1. Then it all changed and there were hirundines in massive numbers moving in all directions, the gloomy conditions not being to their liking. I gave up any attempt at recording numbers as it was impossible to know whether birds were genuinely headed N, E, S or W or simply swirling around Thanet looking for a way to the continent?

House Martin, in the murk, over the garden
I recorded my first Greenfinches, of the autumn, as several groups moved SW with some purpose. Also noted were single Yellow and Grey Wagtail, a few Meadow Pipits and a juvenile Hobby, which came scything through the hirundines like a giant swift.
 
Juvenile Hobby, doing its' best Eleonora's impression - but lacking the languid flight mannerisms of that Mediterranean mega-star.

Events finished as abruptly as they'd started. The sun broke through the gloom and the birds simply vanished. Visible Migration - is there any other natural spectacle quite like it?
 
Juvenile Swallow - where has it come from? There certainly weren't any raised on my patch in 2013!

2 comments:

  1. You cannot beat a bit of garden viz-migging Dylan - ticks all the boxes!

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  2. Hi Dyl. Re yesterdays staggering Hirundine movement: I was watching at Pegwell and between about 7.30 and 10.45 'counted' (as best as I could) 44,600 Swallows and 8000+ House Martins all heading north and n/west ... I stopped counting at 10.45 due to birds coming into the Bay from the opposite direction. I stayed until 1.00pm and there were many 1000's of birds hanging around after the northward movement stopped. Someone in Margate (I'm not as yet sure who ... Barry perhaps?) counted the birds from 8.00 and 11.00 and had 25,000 Swallows and 30,000 House Martins heading n/west. There's no news coming out of Reculver as yet, I assume that Chris is away as the Reculver KOS Blog hasn't been updated?

    Hope alls well dude, well done with those Barbel, 13lb Barbel in the Stour??!! ... I'd have laughed in your face back in the day during my fishing career. Phil.

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