Thursday, October 22, 2009

Patch ticks!

With a trip to Namibia looming and loads to do, the weather forecast said forget all that and get out birding for at least a couple of hours in the morning! Easterly winds slated for the next three days and landfall looks good for Scandinavia. But who knows? Typically I leave tomorrow...

Nipped down to Segelstorpstrand for a change, loads of cover and trees here, and a track record of turning up the patch's only Siberian passerine - a yellow-browed warbler in 2003. From the start it was evident that a bit of a movement was underway overhead - interestingly Falsterbo had a very quiet day, presumably easterlies favour a more northerly route into Denmark?

Plenty of finches on the go this morning with chaffinch/brambling moving steadily, big numbers of siskin (150+) and at one point 35 twite buzzed south down the beach. A single "tew.....trrrrrt" call from a Lapland bunting flying over was a patch first for me and a very long overdue addition to the list. Hopefully I will actually see one this winter. Offshore four Slavonian grebes and a red-throated diver were predictable. Slavonian grebes arrived en masse this week all along the west coast of Sweden.

The highlight came as I was scoping out to sea at the end of the session and I heard a repeated thin, mournful piping and slightly cracked monosyllabic call. I could not work out where it was coming from (there was so much stuff flying over I even looked up!) and then the penny dropped - SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF! I turned to the bush behind me and there it was. I had a brief look just to make sure it was not some weird-sounding immature collybita, before booting up my Panasonic to try and record it. In the time it takes to do this the bird was off across the road and up a hedgeline. Short but sweet.

Then I had to go home and forget about birds, hoover the house, change the car battery, pick up the kids and pack my bags etc etc. It will be painful to see what turns up in the last part of October here, but some stuff may overwinter and it will give an edge to the winter birding to come.

1 comment:

  1. Ooooooh....I'd kill for a lap bunt on the patch !

    Been a bit of a sibe chiff thing going on over here too, 3 on the patch in the last couple of weeks.... just put a video (inc call) on my blog...