Sunday 18 October – Migration watch

There were good conditions for the migration watch as it was overcast but dry with light winds. The chart and descriptions below show the impressive numbers and variety of birds recorded this year. The chart is interesting in that it shows the typical distribution of birds through the morning, quickly rising to a peak before falling away between 10 – 11am. Many thanks to all the leaders and members who supported the watches.

Severn Bridge service station – 07.30 to 09.00

The conditions were cool, with a light NE breeze, and low cloud. The Baltic area was already cold, but the viewing conditions meant that the small groups appeared out of the murk briefly when almost above us, and vanished almost as fast. Identification was largely based on shape and size, as very few identifiable flight calls were heard, though this in part was influenced by the age of the leader. Between 7.45 and 9.00 we observed 47 parties with an average of 12 birds, of which almost all were finches, almost certainly Chaffinches, and almost all were flying north into the wind. The overall rate was 450/hour, with a maximum of 744/hr between 8.30 and 9.00. This is much the largest passage that we have observed in the last five years. The only other birds observed were a small group of Starlings and another that were thought to be Redwings. There were also two Peregrines on the bridge buttress- one of which brought in and ate a kill. Richard Bland