The last two days I’ve made the most of the calm weather as it’s forecasted to change again and as I type the wind has already got up. Yesterday proved to very good at Clouds Hill on the fleet with a slightly unexpected sudden mass passage of Meadow Pipit. Plenty of other species were also moving through with the best of the bunch being a Nightingale that for whatever reason gave a very short blast of song then went quiet and disappeared. Unfortunately it never founds its way into a mist net but about 90 other birds did. Chiffchaff being fairly numerous plus about 20 Meadow Pipits also caught. A single Tree Pipit also founds in way into a net which was a new bird for the site. Also new for the site this autumn was a wandering Treecreeper that’s probably come from some of the wooded areas along the Fleet.
Some pics of some brown birds. First up a Meadow Pipit
And a Tree Pipit.
Yesterday evening we headed to Abbotsbury in the hope of a few more Yellow Wagtails before they disappear. We only caught a few plus some Pied Wagtails and a single White Wagtail.
This morning I was back at Clouds hill hoping the overnight easterlies had brought something in. About 70 birds caught but the day turn unexpectedly dangerous by lunch time. About 11:00 I noticed a loud buzzing sound coming from the scrub. I went to look and discovered literally thousands of honey bees swarming around the site. It was very impressive but they were right amongst my mist nets! Every time I approached they would start landing on me which is not a nice feeling, especially when you’re wearing shorts! As time went on this became a real issue as the nets were still open and needed checking. I found a spot from a distance where I could see the nets and there was one bird caught. Obviously I couldn’t leave it there so I had to be (or should that be Bee?) brave and go and get it. Several stings later (on me) the bird was removed safely and I got the net partly down so that other birds should notice it and not fly in. After an hour of cowering under some bushes they finally moved on which meant I could take down the nets without having to remove too many stingers out of me. I though ringing was a nice safe hobby but obviously not!
Apart from bees, migration was still very autumnal with plenty of Meadow Pipit going over plus a single Reed Bunting overhead and a Sanderling flew down the fleet. Tree Pipit and Yellow Wagtail numbered around 30 each and a single female Redstart was near my car after me near death experience with the bees. Ok, I may be exaggerating a little but I was pretty scary!