Monday, 18 September 2017

Horrid autumn- 18/9/17

Viz mig (west): Teal 26 southwest, Ringed Plover 10, Knot, Whimbrel south, Bar-tailed Godwit 2, Greenshank 3 south, Snipe 2 south, Sandwich Tern 5, Common Tern, Kingfisher 1, Sand Martin 3, Swallow 24 (+20 south), Meadow Pipit 22, Grey Wagtail 2 east (downsteam as per norm).

Point: Chiffchaff 2. Oh, and a Woodpigeon building a nest. What an optimist. Stupid Woodpigeon.

While new arrivals would be expected to be wary (and there were certainly new birds in) the already settled staging waders didn't want to roost on Nor/Friars, even though no wildfowling out on the latter today. They instead chose RSPB Motney Saltings to start with, but were pushed off this first choice by an overeager birder. Motney, to Friars, to Rainham Saltings then back to skirt Motney and round into Otterham.

Problem, much? Obviously the present fair weather and daylength gives time for refueling in optimum conditions. This routine type of disturbance during the winter months will hit fitness and local carrying capacity. It could still be doing so now. Many of these birds are trying to take every opportunity to reach optimal migratory state before striking out for south-west Europe, for Africa. Really difficult to work out if they can under constant disturbance.

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