Been working on a stubborn slope of sea buckthorn in the Birkdale LNR for the last three days, which is as good a place to be in autumn as any, with fairly marked vismig in the mornings, and birds moving around pre-roost before dusk.
Good passage of Chaffinch this morning, perhaps 60+ birds in small flocks, with one fine calling Brambling overhead, 80+ Goldfinch and groups of 4, 2 and a single Fieldfare, 2 Redwing, 3 Mistle Thrush, 250+ Starlings, 2 Jays, small numbers of Skylarks, Mipits, Redpoll and Goldcrest.
Bizarrely most stuff was heading north.
Water Rails calling in the swamped slacks and a few Snipe, with Common Buzzards up during the brighter parts of the day.
Been chopping the buckthorn back with Ralph Jones and today, John G came in and slung up a net in a nearby flooded hollow.
Now I ain't heard a phylly at this site for three days, yet in a short space of time, John had trapped and ringed three juv Chiffchaffs, all plump and troublesome - how disconcertingly easy it is for phyllys to evade detection in autumn...and these are the common ones.
John managed to trap and ring about 40 birds today, as the buckthorn wall shrank slowly away, with numerous Long Tailed Tits, one Goldcrest and other usual suspects all hitting the net.
Two Migrant Hawkers were still on the wing.
Most of the birds he caught today were juvs.
Passage slackened off in the afternoon as it grew colder, and my thoughts turned to the east coast (best not think about the Pale Legged Leaf Warbler's fleeting visit to Portland Bill, it'll only upset me).
Right, that's enough pix of John G's mitts.
I have half a packet of smokes, £3.72 to my name and a quarter of a tank of fuel in the Baby Black Death.
It must be time to hit the road.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...