Friday, 9 September 2011

Two Sandwiches Short....

A steady stream of Plain Martins and Cabot’s Terns moved South today through the patch. Of course to the untrained eye they looked just like Sand Martins and Sandwich Terns. Let me elucidate.

I arrived up at the Lockwood around 09:15 to find a slightly less morose than usual Kevin; he had just had a patch tick you see, Meadow Pipit. It had been a whole six days since his last and he had rather set his heart on one a day! You didn’t hear me complaining when I hadn’t had a patch tick for over a year!.....erm, well, moving on.
Meadow Pipits trickled through all morning in small groups, I saw nearly 30, the first of the Autumn. They seem to have been seen in a number of London sites this morning. Also passing through were Sand Martins, though now they are split (see http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1474-919X.2011.01155.x/pdf) I couldn’t hand on heart say they weren’t Plain Martins, I’ll just leave them as Sand Martins though.

There were 5 Swifts still kicking around all morning which is getting quite late now. Sparrowhawks were much in evidence and it was difficult to be sure how many we were seeing, certainly 5+, maybe more. A local Peregrine was sat on the pylon by the Banbury eating it’s brunch (it’s not quite Breakfast, it’s not quite Lunch but you get a good meal and a slice of Canteloupe on the side). As Lol is away for a bit there is no one stopping me posting a fuzzy blob. (You think that’s bad wait till you (try and) see the Hobby).
A Jackdaw moved South and a male Reed Bunting went West, a few Chaffinches and strangely Collared Doves also seemed to be on the move, though with both of them, as with Sparrowhawk, it’s difficult to separate migrants from residents. A few little Egrets were commuting up and down the valley.

Suddenly a Tern called, Kevin called Tern, they, for there were two of them, flew from behind some Willows and into view, I called Sandwich Tern. Both adults they just moved straight through over the Low Maynard. Similarly to the Martins, now that Sandwich Tern has been split could I honestly say they weren’t Cabot’s Terns? The good news is they were new for the patch for the year. I wasn't sure if I had seen Sandwich Tern on the patch before in September, it turns out I had.

The final fling was a Hobby low over the Ferry Boat Inn as I left, I chanced a picture but it got higher before I could get the phone on it, no sooner had I taken the shot (I told you the Peregrine wouldn’t seem so bad) there were two of them, they headed for right where I had been standing on the South end of the Lockwood, I headed for Tescos.



On this date:
09 09 03 A Redstart and a Wheatear by the riding stables on Walthamstow Marsh a Lesser Whitethroat by the Marina.

PW

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