Sunday, October 12, 2008

Back birding the patch

Blessings of Comrade Chairman Mao on Remembird - I remembered (remembird) to put a new battery in this morning before heading out, and aren't I glad I did...

It seemed like a perfect, not too cold, October morning with a hint of southerly breeze - ideal for hoovering up all those Yellow-browed Warblers that would be flycatching in the sunshine, or so I thought. Was frankly, though, a bit wintery to start with, with several hundred Pink-footed Geese heading south, and apart from the usual peeping of tit flocks, chatting European Robins and the usual residents, not a lot happening. Until I checked the path running up to the swingpark (where the Wood Warbler was last month) when I heard a Yellow-browed Warbler calling from the sycamores at the top. Ran up the slope, turning Remembird on, and saw the bird pretty well and got a few recordings - some snippets below - try and ignore the persistent rumble of the A90.

You can listen to it here and here

The first file

The second...

Note the high pitched squeaks and them the 'classic' tseooiiiu' calls. But also the variation in the calls (second file) - easy to see on the sonogram, not so easy to hear.

Compare to this bird that I recorded at Yeyahu Lake outside Beijing on 26 Sep 08

Which you can listen to here

the Y-bW headed down the slope, and so did I. It came closer when I gave it some blasts of YbW from my phone, and I saw it pretty much the best I ever saw one, down at bracken level.

Other things going on this morning... apart from generally busy tit flocks including several Coal Tits, always a sign that birds are on the move, a couple of small flocks of Mistle Thrushes heading south, a constant trickle of Meadow Pipits and Eurasian Skylarks, and also a surprising number, 20+, of Barn Swallows lingering.

At the Allotments, which really looked like it should be overrun with Red-breasted Flycatchers and Dusky Warblers, there was a single Common Chiffchaff. I reallycould not see any green or yellow in the supercilium or upperparts of this bird, and actually it looked quite Siberian, but the call was unequivocally Common.

At the Secret Garden* a Eurasian Siskin, and 2 redpoll spp flew over, calling.

*'Secret Garden' is the wrong term... it's not very secret, being right next to the path and visible through large iron gates. However although it is outside the village, walled, apparently attached to no house, and you never see anyone in there, it is always immaculately cut and groomed. Spooky. From now on I will call it the 'Enchanted Garden.' Also, there are pixies living there - that's always a bit of a giveaway.

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