I Love Arnside & Silverdale 2019-10-18 08:00:0018/10/2019
BURTON NEWS COPY – October 2019
Autumn Bird migration is well on its way. If you happen to be heading along Vicarage Lane towards Dalton and wondering just who that guy is stood at the top of Mike Taylor’s field with binoculars around his neck there is a good chance it could be me! It’s that time of year again when the Meadow Pipits, Chaffinch and Linnets are flying through our skies on their way South to their various destinations, some even making it as far as France and Spain. We seem to be getting record numbers of Linnets so far this year, and that is set to get even better once the continental Linnets join in the numbers, which I would expect anytime now.
Most mornings I get a skein and sometimes several skein of Pink Footed Geese, which are usually extremely high up and usually you will get a vocal warning from them to tell you that they are passing overhead, and that’s when the fun really starts. Yes you can hear them OK, but finding them can prove difficult. I have made up my own rules when it comes to passing Pink Feet eg: If they are heading to the South West they are heading for Martin Mere near Southport or maybe more locally to Morecambe Bay, but if they are heading in the South East direction which many are, then they are probably heading towards the plains of Lincolnshire or Norfolk.
This last couple of days I have noticed the Starling numbers are building. I can only count them as they come overhead of Vicarage Lane which is usually around the 7am mark, which after having left their roost site at Leighton Moss or Silverdale Moss, and heading East to forage for the day, I presume going to Hutton Roof, Kirby Lonsdale, Leck and maybe even further afield. They are currently at about 150 birds which will grow in number by the day, but this will accumulate drastically in the coming weeks, especially by the middle of October when their numbers could swell to 20-50000 birds or more. These recent increases tie in with reports I received yesterday from Spurn (East Coast) saying they too have been recording their first continental Starling arrivals.
If you walk through Holme Stinted Pastures towards the Fell, you cannot help but see all the hawthorn trees so heavily populated with haw berries, and if you are lucky you may just hear a cackling Blackbird or other thrush sampling these delights on offer. We are talking millions of berries, but one thing is sure, most of them will be gone over the coming weeks especially when the winter visiting thrushes get chance to participate. We should start seeing our visiting Redwing and Fieldfare by the middle of the month
The first continental Snipe are arriving (20th September) and it won’t be long before we start getting the Woodcock as well. Lots of them like to spend their winter months on Hutton Roof. You don’t see them as a rule because they are tucked in all snug somewhere safe and have the perfect camouflage. Yet occasionally I will accidentally disturb them when walking the stints or the clints. I am not sure who startles who the most!
High pressure has been well and truly set in for the past few days and there have been some really nice warm sunny days. It’s also allowed many butterflies to grace our skies. I have seen Brimstones, Small Tortoiseshells, Red Admirals and lots of various Whites. The Red Admirals are all heading South and they too are on a massive southerly migration just like their cousins the Painted Ladies. This long migration can continue for weeks, I have seen Red Admirals heading South as late as 2nd November.
It’s nice to go out on a botany high and that’s just how I felt with the Field Gentian recent finds on Holme Stinted Pastures. They are beautiful but so small and can so easily be missed. I counted well over 300 of the stunners.
Looking forward so much to witnessing the Redwings and Fieldfare passing over our little village in their large parties usually heading in a North West direction into the Lythe Valley, but this can so easily change according to the weather patterns and wind directions on the day, but for sure I hope to be stood there with pen and notebook recording their numbers s they fly past.
By the way my recording notes are all published locally on my blog site (see link below), and on the Lancaster and District Birdwatching Society (Bird Sightings) and sent through to Trektellen in the Netherlands who collate all bird records from recorders throughout the UK and Europe, this information is to help the study of migration and is also then sent back to the UK to be included in the BTO Migration site records.
Notes written on 20th September 2019
9 Glebe Close,
Burton In Kendal