Things are certainly starting to move down from the North in earnest now that the days are getting shorter. One of those often over looked 'summer' migrants is the humble meadow pipit who is currently moving south in excellent numbers and forming large flocks of hungry birds putting on fat ready for their long flight. On the reserve there has been a nice flock of around 70 feeding on the seed and insects in front of Ousefleet hide while others can be seen 'vis miging*' over the reserve early morning. Mippits as they are usually affectionatly called can move south as far as Morrocco to winter so are a fairly long distant migrants, so next time you see one flying over it may be bound for the exotic sounding town of Marrakesh rather than Rotherham!
Other more recognised summer migrants passing through have been swallow with a roost of 560 on Saturday night, and quite a few house martins, yellow wagtails and chiffchaffs. There has also been winter passage birds too coming in from the looming cold of winter including species such as siskin, goldcrest, and the first pink footed geese of the year seen flying over Swinefleet.
Birds of prey numbers seem to be building up with up to 7 roosting marsh harriers, buzzard, merlin, hobby, peregrine and regular sparrowhawks.
The local ducks are proving interesting too and are well worth a sort through for those of us who like that kinda challenge. Good numbers of gadwall are showing plus, pintail, a moulting garganey yesterday afternoon on Singleton, widgeon, and pochard. Singleton is also a good place for catching up with the Bitterns (yes that's plural!).
And of course then there's the waders! A single curlew sandpiper flew over west on Saturday but there has been good numbers of greenshank, spotted redshank, ruff, green sandpiper and snipe than a smattering of black tailed godwits, 4 oystercatcher west, curlew, dunlin and a single ringed plover over.
Swallows and Martins gathering ready for moving south.
* vis miging = watching visible migration
A pectoral sandpiper this morning on Townend - not seen this pm though as yet.