04 October 2009

You can't keep a calidrid in an aquarium!

Started birding early this morning with a quality dream about a 'Dunlin' in a fish tank. It actually turned out to be a Curlew Sandpiper running around underwater, bobbing to the surface every now and then to take a breath. Having explained to the owners that you can't keep a Curlew Sandpiper in an aquarium, I took it out, but I can't remember where I put it as, from then on, it all went a bit 'Scooby-doo ending'.

Back in the real world... a pre-dawn raid on Uskmouth developed into an almost perfect morning. Blue sky, high wispy cloud, a gentle westerly and a steady trickle of common migrants; everything you need to remind you of the allure of autumn; had a sub-rare (or better) flitted over, the picture would have been complete. Unfortunately, the 'oddities' this morning were headed up by 50 sightings of flyover Jays (usually 1-2 knock around the reserve); the single biggest flock was of 21 going east but smaller groups of birds were going in all directions, I wouldn't want to bet my house on how many individuals were involved but it was a fair few. Other birds on the move included 1-2 Redpolls, 30 Siskin, 20 Skylark, 60 Chaffinch, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers and a few each of alba wags and Mipit (the majority of stuff was heading west). On the ground 3 Reed Warbler, 20+ Blackcap, 10+ Chiffchaff and 5+ Goldcrest were a nice supporting cast but the star failed to appear.

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