The main feature of the day was witnessing early autumnal passage with good numbers of summer migrants stopping at a number of localities. This is indeed the pivotal month for migration.
1 Hobby (juvenile) at Houghton - heading west south west
Meadow Pipit (15+) - passage at Houghton 8+ high south and 7+ Deopham
Lesser Whitethroat - 2, possibly 3 migrants in Sallow/Bramble at Deopham
Having arrived at about 0800, I decided to take a slow walk east of the church with the intention of turning and walking back slowly with the rising sun behind me. Once again, Whitethroats were seen where Elderberries occur, these soft fruits proving nutrition and energy for this migrant species. Also seen and heard were Chiffchaffs, Yellowhammers, Dunnock, and several Wrens.
|Looking North from Houghton-on-the-Hill. An excellent visible migration watchpoint.|
|Juvenile Hobby over Houghton (probably on passage)|
Further visible migration was seen at 1050 when 8+ Meadow Pipits passed high overhead in a north to south passage.
The wide expanses of arable visited today now replaces what was formerly a WW11 USAF airfield, in fact, much of the old runway and hardstands still exist here. Today, my sole intention was to visit some beautiful patches of Bramble scrub. Close to, this area of scrub clearly covers a good area, however, from a distance it appears quite isolated within the vast open countryside...surely an attraction to passing migrants.
An area of stagnant water on hardstand near the road is always worth a check for passage wading birds, none were there, however, 7+ Meadow Pipits were seen. With the Meadow Pipits seen earlier in the day at Houghton, it would appear that passage for this species is truly under way. Also there was a preening Pied Wagtail.
|Lesser Whitethroat at Deopham, Norfolk 07/09/14. Two, possibly 3 were in this Sallow.|
Checking long hedgerows for migrant birds can be a long process, especially when presented with a variety of habitats, but checking what appears to be from a distance, small areas of scrub can be very rewarding as seen today at Deopham.