They are out there – at night…

15 Oct

The migration of our summer visitors is almost complete – the most obvious example being the absence of Swallows and House Martins who have left for north and sub-Saharan Africa.

Just arriving, amongst other birds,  are the thrushes – Redwings and Fieldfares and Mistle Thrush. They migrate from Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia to spend the winter here in our warmer climes.

They migrate at night in flocks so if you go out into the garden (or on the way home from the Rattlebone..)  you may hear a soft but sharp ‘tseep’ coming from above. This is a Redwing calling to the other birds in the flock keeping distance and direction.

You may also hear a very different sound – a ‘shack’ or ‘shack-shack’  delivered with some urgency. This is a Fieldfare calling on migration.

It needs to be dark, little cloud and, ideally, quite still.

Less than 1 in 50 birds in a migrating flock call so if you hear say 4 calls in the space of a minute that could equate to some 200 birds passing over.

Reports from Scandinavia suggest that the supply of fruits and berries may be quite poor (another effect of the wet summer) so we may get more than usual this winter.



One Response to “They are out there – at night…”

  1. sherstonwildlife October 15, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

    15th October, 9pm. Just been lurking around the garden in the pitch dark – not a tweet (or tseep..)

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