Tuesday, 18 October 2011

All Quiet On All Fronts

My new e-Mail address is

A noticeable drop in temperature this morning, plus an increase in the westerly wind speed made things feel even more autumnal but for the best part the sun was shining so altogether a nice day. However, that was only weather wise as most birds seemed to be keeping a low profile. At the cemetery I was met, as usual, by one of several Grey Squirrel but otherwise very quiet, which could also be said about Radipole.

That is before an aerial scrap began with 3 Carrion Crows (one top left) and a single Magpie (top right) started attacking a seemingly peaceful Common Buzzard.

The Crows were most aggressive

with this one appearing to make contact and

baring its claws.

The Buzzard tolerated it for a while before flying rapidly towards the river Wey Valley. Not surprisingly, both Water Rail and Cetti's Warbler were seen and heard but that was all until reaching the main bridge

where 9 Common Snipe were seen at the waters edge.

There was also my first returning Common Gull of the autumn

right on cue, while

2 of the previous 13 Black-tailed Godwit remained in the shallows.

Apart from that it was left to two dozen Mediterranean Gulls to make up any other numbers, ranging in plumage from adult

to first winter. Portland for me at least was a total write-off as I recorded just one migrant, a Wheatear, on my walk along Barleycrates, back along Reap Lane to Sweethill and around the Top Fields. Others were more lucky, especially Beryl Clafton who saw 4 Short-eared Owls and 2 Ring Ouzels at Church Op Cove. Let's hope things improve tomorrow!

Just a reminder

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