Sep 14, 2008


It was a superb morning for seeing migrants. Thick mist, flat calm…just dead right …unfortunately it was perfect for the midges as well. A search around the house here produced two song thrush a chaffinch and an unidentified warbler. Moving to the neighbours mature trees soon produced the goods with several Goldcrests the first to be seen. Next a Chiffchaff hove in to view stopping for a few seconds in the open before he continued feeding. Several song Thrushes could be heard and one would appear from time to time. The bushes were nicely occupied with birds. A Blackcap was the next up. By now the midges were driving me to distraction. Changing positions was no help so reluctantly I moved off . Crossing the field down to Happy valley proved to be the business. Entering the wood at the eastern end produced the goods right away. The first trees were host to a small flock of Goldcrests. Settling down to watch they were soon in the open moving through the canopy catching insects in their acrobatic fashion. To day seemed to be the perfect day for Wrens. I was only out for an hour and a half but must have seen twenty five Wrens in that time. Quite outstanding for me!! Moving through the woods the high canopy and dense shrubs were a bit of a problem as I carefully pushed forward. I could see wee birds moving ahead of me ushered away by Blackbird and Song thrush alarm calls and my own inelegant stalking. Settling at the edge of Edwins garden for a while did the business as I got a thrilling view a Spotted Fly Catcher as it chased insects from the edge of the house roof. It soon took off over the roof so I wandered over to have a look round the other side . This was a big mistake as I put up stacks of birds that had been avoiding me out of sight. Mostly they headed to the end of the woods where I had entered. Un daunted I moved as quietly as I could to persue them.{not easy on that poxy gravel] Sure enough settling down to watch the trees where I had seen the Goldcrests birds slowly became apparent. Another Chiffchaff several Chaffinch and my first Garden Warbler of the last couple of years pleased me no end. The Goldcrests still continued to feed non stop, Wrens moved endlessly through the lower canopy with little fear of anything Whilst song thrushes and black birds foraged away. In the end it was the midges that won the day and I decided to move on. Heading home via the vally to Russadale. It is alive with Meadow Pipits and the willow shrub looks promising but as i start to scope things out to see whats what the skies start to open. Time to beat the retreat and head across the fields to home. It’s the best day for birds here since the Hen Harrier was teaching its young to hunt in the garden…..i am double chuffed and cant wait to get out there again.

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