Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Starlings Have Landed

Wednesday, August 27, 2008 Birdbrain Queensbury

The Starlings have Landed
Massive flocks of Starlings have descended on Queensbury in the last few days.The rooftops around Foxhill at lunch time today was black with them. Also the garden feeders were heaving, very much like Marks. Not sure if these are birds moving through or just grouping ready for dispersion, one for you DCB. Getting both male and female Sparrowhawk in front garden daily now. All quiet otherwise apart from a few moving Swallows and one or 2 small groups of Greenfinch over >S.BS
Posted by Brian Sumner at 7:56 PM

Dave B said...
Hi Brian,
Starlings have been at a low at our Oxenhope watchpoint since the immediate post breeding dispersal was finished. This PBD here always seems to be in a northerly direction from what i have seen. This last weekend there were about 50 in the fields to the NE of us which were fresh back to or moving through the area. Suggest we are now somewhere between post breeding dispersal and migration in the Starling calendar now but still in the PBD period. According to literature this directional PBD, assuming thats what it is here, is followed by an autumn migration which commences at the point reached by the summer dispersal and not necessarily the breeding area of the population in question...... so the situation is complex and just how far our breeding birds and juvs disperse I dont know. Starlings have been absent from Oxenhope counts for some while now and it is good to see them featuring again and interesting that you have had them massing as well at the same time. The continental hoards dont start to come into the Country until October so there is a long while to go yet until migration proper starts. I will post this on the vismig Group and see what comes back from others.

9:53 PM

Further thouthts.....

Hi Brian again,
A look at the Breeding Atlas last night suggests that the massive flocks of juvs disperse further than the ads after breeding but not great distances. There are some interesting regional charts which possibly indicate this movement. Our breeding adults dont seem to move very far at all. There is also a suggestion that there may be movement from elsewhere at the end of the defined breeding period with birds passing through parts of the Country then.All this still leaves a ? as to what exactly is happening now and I think all we can do is watch with special ref as to whether we are seeing mainly juvs or adults and what they are doing. Any thoughts anyone??


Loch Garten Osprey Over Bradford

Picked this thread up from Calderdale Birds:

""Satellite tracking the 2 Osprey chicks from the RSPB's Loch Garten site has shown that the juv female (Nethy) has, in the last day or so flown directly over Bailiff Bridge and Brighouse (Armitage Industrial Estate) heading due south. Any Brighouse birders see her going over!!!?)The latest update position is she is now near Cheltenham and her male sibling (Deshar) is on the south coast. We have not been able to get a time fix (or height of flight) on the web-site."" Many thanks to DJ Sutcliffe and Calderdale Birds for flagging it up!

Immediately prior to entering Calderdale the juv female passed north to south over the whole of the Bradford Ornithological Group area. First crossing the Washburn valley, tracking over Timble, Asquith, Hawksworth, Baildon, Shipley, Bradford, Low Moor and then out of the area into and over Calderdale.

For an update on the current locations of these migrating birds see: