Lade - warm, dry and sunny, light easterly - Following a couple of goodish days for drift migrants at the end of last month, September has slipped in quietly with more `normal` numbers of migrants across the peninsula, as is often the case with clear nights and sunny days. That's not to say there aren't birds out there, but just fewer of them. I stuck firmly to the local patch, all within walking distance, as no doubt the bird reserve would've been rammed with visiting birders.
Over the weekend Yellow Wagtails continued to filter overhead along with a few more Mipits and, today, singles of both Tree Pipit and Grey Wagtail. While Sand Martins remained the prominent hirundine on the move, yesterday saw a noticeable increase in Swallows heading south. The ponds was still the best area for passerines, particularly warblers, with all the common species noted including brief views of a Grasshopper Warbler yesterday, plus a Spotted Flycatcher in the cattery fir tree this morning.
Waders around the lakeside margins have been few with just a Common Sandpiper and Dunlin on the island. Common Terns and Little Egrets continued to come and go and Pochard numbers remained at around the 200 mark. Two Black-necked Grebes were still on site and a juvenile Marsh Harrier drifted over today scattering the many grebes and Coots.
However, todays hot spot has been on the Desert where I spent several hours checking out a flock of chats scattered over a wide area near south lake. The final totals as birds dropped in throughout the day was 12 Stonechats, eight Wheatears and six Whinchats along with 100 Linnets and 200 Starlings also feeding on the storm ridges. At least five Sparrowhawks came and went, plus two Kestrels, six Buzzards and two Marsh Harriers.
The moth trap has been disappointing with low numbers and only a Dark Sword-grass on the migrant front, although several Hummingbird Hawkmoths have been feeding on the garden buddleia today.