Saturday, 18 November 2017

Visible migration; Horrid results for nocturnal migrants

In particular, the 'crests and warblers. Helping to show we do see a small amount of fallout on Horrid, but never in great numbers- you have to work for it.

Phylloscopus warblers: first movers are the Willow Warblers- Brits moving through, no late Scandis, all over by mid-September. Perversely, as easy/easier to find a WilWa on Horrid as elsewhere in the Park. Birds there can easily adjust position after arriving, moving through the Park trying to find a nice place to rest up. Birds dropping onto Horrid overnight tend to sit tight. Often they do not even want to make the short dash along the treeless narrow neck.

Early numbers of Chiffchaffs are in all probability the result of local breeding- wandering young. From mid-September numbers drift upwards. If lucky, one might come 'in-off' at dawn, or a bird might turn up on the adjacent saltings. The Point did not attract large numbers, however, but enough to help chart the peak.

Acrocephalus warblers were virtually non-existent on the Point- the habitat just not right, and the weather too good during their main movement period (through August into September) to have more than the odd bird drop into the bushes. Step off the Point and watch at Sharp's Green Pond instead- ten minutes on a good day will often throw up a double figure count.

Similarly the Sylvia warblers also trickle through only until the time the locally bred young have also gone. Nothing to make you feel the Point reflects their migration. Only one fair-sized fall of Blackcap.

Thankfully the Regulus, the 'crests, can show you a little pulse of their migration:

And the odd bird does flutter in after dawn. Horrid is no coastal viewpoint, but if life gives you lemons, learn to enjoy the taste. If you can manage that, you can see migration in action out there. As I've said before, the rest of the Park can throw you up many more migrants, but the feeling when you stumble of a lone warbler out on Horrid is just as strong. 

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