While yesterday’s Clouded yellow butterfly was migrating northwards on the hot southerlies, our local birds were heading in the opposite direction, to their various wintering spots around the Mediterranean and in locations all over the African continent. They started heading south in ever-increasing numbers about three weeks ago – at least, that’s when I started noticing this year’s autumn migration. Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs, Swallows, Sand and House martins … for a lot of these little birds their long journey has already begun.
The first noteworthy bird for me was a Pied flycatcher, found by a local birder at Cosmeston one day, and I just happened to be right there he re-found it the following day. That was 22 July, the day I also began to notice how many Willow warblers there were everywhere – I’ve been seeing good numbers of these lovely little birds almost daily since then.
On 2 August, this Sedge warbler was a surprise find in the hedgerow on a local farm. With any luck, it will be well on its way to sub-Saharan Africa by now.
Also on 2 August, in that same hedgerow, I noticed a lot of Whitethroats, and they’re also passing through in small numbers every day now.
I’ve seen a Redstart at Cosmeston a few times – these photos were taken on 4 August and 16 August in almost the exact same location. Might it be the same bird that has perhaps found the place to its liking and is trying to fatten up before flying onward?
In recent days, I’ve also been seeing some of my favourite migrants, Spotted flycatchers (several now seen) and Whinchat (just one so far) but I’m going to post separate blogs about those superb little birds.