Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Autumn starts well

CFBW's first Oystercatcher pipes away as it heads north east
While July slowly shows signs of early migration towards the end of the month, August is the month where my motivation for patching really steps up a gear. I arrived at the farm this morning to be greeted by generally overcast conditions, which I quite like. I spent quite a bit of time at the Watchpoint before starting my walk. I didn't have to go far before I found something. I approached the fence surrounding the barns behind Canons Farmhouse, as the bushes, brambles and scrap piles there can produce the occasional migrant (I fancy Wryneck there one day...). Doing so caused an interesting-looking passerine to fly from the long grass near me and land in the main bush there. It was a Sedge Warbler! Usually streaky autumn warblers flushed like this at the patch are Grasshopper Warblers (which would be the better bird in most places) but this was the first record for the site! It showed well for a minute or two before disappearing and it could not be relocated throughout the day. It shared the area with a Willow Warbler and a Blackcap (both migrants).

An hour and a half later, I was patrolling the now famous Heathside (a.k.a. 'Dotterel') Field when I heard a loud 'peeep'. Dismissing it as catching an odd bit of a Song Thrush song or something I continued, then I heard it again, and again... and it sounded interesting. Look up! A bleedin' Oystercatcher flies past me at c200-250ft height (maybe less? I'm not great at judging height/distance). ANOTHER first for CFBW! It was heading north east, roughly towards Beddington, but wasn't picked up there.

A big female Peregrine also put in an appearance today.