Sunday, 23 October 2016

signs of winter

Our reader will have noticed no mention of autumn, the reason being very little to report. The midlands as a whole has had a comparatively poor autumn migration season and the valley has as far as we know failed to attract any scarce migrants.
Specifically we have had no mixed flocks of any size which can attract rarities to join them. Also absent have been the normally regular passage and local pied wagtails, perhaps just too much disturbance on their favoured short cut grass.
In contrast much evidence of badger activity with new setts appearing and a welcome  water vole sighting yesterday.
So the signs of winter: redwings appeared in small numbers at the beginning of the month although they appear to have moved on; robins have established winter territories and are everywhere suggesting a population supplemented by Scandinavian birds; blackbirds will follow the same pattern though given the success of the breeding season will be less obvious.
The only other songster, besides robins, is the wren and a lone great tit at the station which has been singing on and off since end of August. Jays also have an increased presence (8 in a day) again difficult to differentiate between immigration and breeding success.
Finally an immature male sparrowhawk at the wetland and 4 overflying cormorant this weekend.