Saturday, 6 October 2018

Pulborough, late September

Well, what a quiet September that was. The continuing low water levels and an almost total absence of easterlies didn’t help and I spectacularly managed to get through the month without a single patch year tick. It's been good to see some signs of the seasons changing though with a few Wigeon around now and the welcome return of at least two Marsh Harriers, again a regular sight quartering over the Brooks. The bulk of the hirundines and summer passerines cleared out pretty sharpish towards the end of the month, meaning we are now in that rather odd limbo period as we await the arrival of most of the wintering ducks and thrushes.

The month ended with a bang for some though as lucky regular Paul messaged me first on Saturday evening while I was in London informing me of two Great Egrets on the North Brooks and then again Sunday afternoon asking what looks like a Little Egret with a yellow bill that hangs around cows... Cattle Egret of course! Evidently two were briefly on the North Brooks that morning before flying east. Particularly galling that one as they would have been a Pulborough tick and also because I was actually on site that morning! Fingers crossed there'll be more to come, given how many are in the country at the moment.
One of the two Cattle Egrets on the 30th (photo: Paul)

The two Great Egrets on the North Brooks on the 29th (photo: Paul)
Now we’re past the equinox and the nights are growing longer than the days, before and after work birding time is limited so it’s full on nocmig season again! I put the microphone out most nights in the last week of September and was rewarded with my third Common Scoter of the year on the 22nd, the first Redwing of the season (25th) and another Oystercatcher (28th). I'm excited to see what else I manage to pick up in the coming weeks, this being my first full autumn of nocmigging.
Common Scoter

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