But as soon as the first waders arrive back from the arctic and whinchats are back on the coast, they re-focus their attentions back to birds...usually.
Today was the last day of September and autumn migration should be in full swing, the bushes should be alive with chiffchaffs, goldcrests and maybe, something more exciting. This morning I had two hours to spare on the patch and found myself not grilling the bushes for warblers but photographing butterflies and dragonflies - it was like July!
A run of wall-to-wall westerlies has resulted in very few birds arriving on our shores. There has been the odd report - a wryneck on the Farnes, hoopoe on Holy Island and a black restart or two. At Druridge, a wren was a highlight after seeing none since the beast from the east and a single chiff was 'wheeting; from the bushes. Things aren't going to improve, with continued westerlies forecast for the next two weeks at least.
The only noteworthy migrants were more barnacle geese flying over.
|Barnacle geese headed north
|Male migrant hawker
|Two speckled wood butterflies on rosehips
|Red admiral on ragwort