Friday, 7 September 2012

Mynydd Mawr Migrants

I've enjoyed a couple of early morning sessions at Uwchmynydd logging visible migration these last couple of days. All details are again over at the phenomenal 'real-time' European migration website Trektellen.

Although there hasn't yet been huge numbers of birds - as occurs here in favourable conditions later in the autumn - a good mix of pipits (including a few Trees), wagtails and finches make the early starts worthwhile.

The Red-billed Chough flock numbered 17 today with many noisy birds arriving from a roost to the south at dawn and loafing on the hillside in the morning sun; preening, loafing and stretching. They seem to be indulging in a spot of Choga - Chough yoga! After a while the birds disperse and start feeding in the area but you are virtually guaranteed to connect with the species here.

Next stop was Porth Meudwy where I had a good long search for migrants. Four Grey Wagtails were calling around Cwrt Farm as I arrived. A few Barn Swallows were moving through while the highlight of the morning for me was suddenly being surrounded by a dense flock of over 70 House Martins. They simply dropped out of the sky to refuel on migration and began feeding over the scrub in the sheltered east side, calling constantly and sweeping around the valley sides.

Robin numbers were up to 11 birds and many of these were presumably fresh in, being chased by the territorial residents. Blackcaps seemed to be everywhere, with a very conservative count of 13 birds, although there could easily have been double that, while 10 Chiffchaff, 3 Goldcrests and a couple of Common Whitethroats added to the variety.

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