autumn migration, birding, birdwatching, British birds, Chiffchaff, Cosmeston, Cosmeston Lakes Country Park, migrating birds, Pied plycatcher, Redstart, Wheatear, Whinchat, Whitethroat, Willow warbler
My local country park, Cosmeston Lakes, has been awash with migrating birds this past week. And it’s not just me getting better at finding them – according to birders who’ve been checking the area much longer than I’ve lived nearby, this has been a bumper year for sightings.
On 24 August I found two Redstarts, a male and another that may have been a female or an immature bird that hadn’t yet developed its full adult colouration.
Also on the 24th I had a very fleeting view of a Wheatear that popped up from grass to fencepost, then was off in the blink of an eye.
On the 27th my birding friend Della texted me to say she’d found a Whinchat. That was the fastest I’d ever walked to Cosmeston and, luckily, the bird waited for me – and, in fact, stayed around most of the week so I saw it several times.
During my frequent visits to Cossie this week, I’ve seen ones and twos of Whitethroat and Chiffchaff, and tens of Willow warblers. These are the ones I spotted on the 30th.
Also on 30 August, I spotted another Redstart and, from the dark head colours, I could tell this one was definitely a male.
The week ended with a bang! My birding friend, Graham, let me know that he’d seen a Pied flycatcher with a small group of Spotted flycatchers, a most unusual visitor. Luckily, I was on the coastal path heading homeward so was able to divert towards Cosmeston and, with Graham’s help, got distant views of this beautiful little bird catching flies along the tree line. What a stunning week it has been!