Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

North-Easterlies by Friday 11th October....eyes skyward.

The morning of the 8th October dawned clear following a starlit night but with improving light, murky, misty conditions set in with low cloud.  The wind was a light, occasionally moderate south-westerly.
My day started with a 5 mile circular walk around Little and Great Cressingham.  The current wind direction was not particularly conducive to autumn migration, however, that is all set to change.
From Friday 11th October the wind shifts to a north-easterly from the northerly forecast for the day before. Winds are expected to continue to feed in from Northern Europe with an north-east to east-north-east by Saturday.
Pressure chart for Friday 11 October 2013
The above pressure chart for Friday 11th October 2013 shows an area of low pressure centred over Northern Italy giving a north-easterly airflow from Southern Scandinavia and the low countries through East Anglia and south-east England.  This time of year such conditions indicates there will be a probable significant passage of Redwings, Song Thrushes, Fieldfares, Blackbirds, and Finch species such as Bramblings through our area from Northern Europe.   

The first bird of the morning was a beautiful Barn Owl seen in the half-light, flying along Fairstead Lane.  Although the conditions this morning was not good for passage migrants from Europe, my early morning walk did produce several Song Thrushes, the higher than usual numbers indicating that these were continental migrants, the vanguard of what is likely to come by the end of this week.
Single Meadow Pipits passed overhead.
Later in the day, a single Common Buzzard was seen close to as it pounced on prey on the ground from the above tree, the prey must have been small, a small invertebrate maybe.  Nearby was a single male Reeve's Pheasant.
Back in Little Cressingham village as the sun was sinking low in the western sky, a Chiffchaff briefly sang, it will be March next near now before we hear this migrant again in any numbers.  

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