Sunday, May 29, 2005

Starling - post breeding dispersal

Starling – post breeding dispersal.
Since mailing earlier, a quick read of the appropriate bits in Chris Feare, the Mig Atlas and BWP suggests that it may well be worth picking up on any visible directional patterns of juvenile Starling post breeding dispersal at these "out of the way" places we watch. Has anyone done this before? Does it only happen on the continent? Any observations most welcome.

Watchpoint 29-05-2005

Members only watchpoint 29-05-2005
Sunday 29th May 2005
1420 - 1720hr
Weather and Sky:
A fair weather afternoon, following a similar morning. Wind: W – WNW variable F 3 / 4. Temp: 14 dp 5. Visibility: more than Drax / Ingleborough. Cloud: cu mediocris 2ok, reducing humilis with milky cirrostratus to the east 4ok remaining similar with cirrostratus / open sky interface remaining overhead. Pressure: uniform rise overnight and during morning but static 1019 during afternoon.

An interesting afternoon with an almost unnoticeable, steady broad front trickle of Swifts (upto 1600hr) all SW and into the wind, amounting to an appreciable 117 > SW. All of the birds were very high, some far out to the east / west, with many only visible through the scope. This type of thing not at all unusual here but very much hard work and one of those cases where two observers would have produced twice as many birds!! After 1600hr few Swifts were seen but gulls started to appear coming from the south-east, with 17 Lessers and 1 first summer Common Gull filtering west and north-west. Two Cuckoos were heard (first here this year), having missed out on first and second wave birds. A Whinchat was in the plantation on the way out. Interestingly a small group of three Goldfinch went south and three individual Lapwings moved through to the north-west. Also interestingly, hardly any Starlings at all today suggesting these post breeding mobs must at least be partly transient? Anyone got any thoughts?

Birds in the Sky:
Swift 117 > SW
Lesser black backed Gull 17 > W and NW
Common Gull 1 > NW
Goldfinch 3 > S
Lapwing 3 > NW
Cuckoo 2

Whinchat 1
Carrion Crows