I am fascinated by migration!
And i hugely look forwards to migrants on the patch. It breaths new air into the lungs of birding, which can get fairly repetitive during winter, particularly in a county without large diving duck flocks and big Gull roosts.
Today looked an ideal day for a spot of vismig, and i was fairly right, and i ended up spending around 5 hours on patch almost immobile sitting in the middle of the field counting vismig.
It was clear that Meadow Pipit were moving en mass, and i had around 100 birds fly over, all heading to the north. From these birds being funneled up the valley, a fair few were regularly dropping into the weedy field at Blackstone i was sitting in, sometimes giving fairly decent views as they flew around, at times down to a few meters, or perching up on young trees.
On a patch scale, i was also immensely happy when a pair of Greylag Goose flew south along the river, as said in a previous post, an incredibly rare bird on patch, and following so closely to the last record, which could indicate that they are still present nearby!
7+ Chiffchaff were also 'new in' for me, being my first patch birds of the year! 5c Redpoll sp were flying around, but seemed more to be remnants of the wintering flock than migrants. 1 Grey Wagtail flew north, as did 2 'alba' Wagtail and 30c Linnet. Raptors were also represented with 8 Buzzard going over (including some obviously migrating birds!), 3 Sparrowhawk and 1 Kestrel!
Away from vismig, a pair of Mandarin and a single drake Goosander were on the river.