Blizzard of Blackbirds and a Hasty Retreat

Tuesday, 23rd October 2012

It's been a few days since I last wrote here, not to say that I haven't been out... but with continuous south westerlies blowing, quite frankly, apart from an influx last Tuesday of six Med. Gulls and thirty-five Black-headeds at Little Beach, Grove Point, and assorted commoner species , it's been 'quiet'.

Seventh heaven - gulls galore!

Since the weekend though, now that when the wind has died down and easterlies set in, it seems a different world. Daybreak today saw literally hundreds of Blackbirds and Redwings coming southwards along the shore. The former in numbers I have never seen the likes of; Song Thrushes too, sometimes five at a time in the bushes. Robins and Dunnocks still plentiful as before. Two Ring Ouzels as well.

Mist hung low and the Weares were alive. Finch flocks overhead, Chaffinches mainly, moving southwards as well. Scarcely a breeze in the Sycamore trees had me scouring for eastern warblers - yet there were none to be found here. Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests, about eight Blackcaps, resident Bullfinches and Long-tailed Tits all showed well in the unusually calm, October, conditions.

I changed my route today from the usual and headed for the Sycamores alongside and at the top of the Grove Point 'Goat Track'. Chaffiches were moving there along the top of the cliff as well, with at least two Brambling among them. Two Black Redstarts including a superb male, made the climb worthwhile.

The perfect East Weares birding day... until I suddenly had to leave. Halfway back down the track the phone rang. After twenty minutes very fast walk back to the car then a few minutes drive back close to my home a stunning Daurian Shrike had arrived. Why it wasn't here on the Weares, I guess I'll never know. 

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