Saturday, 8 October 2011

Billinge Hill

Merlin 1 juv. male
Wheatear 2 one on field near beacon, one near horse paddocks (see photo below).
Meadow Pipit 10
Skylark 10
Goldcrest 2
Great spotted Woodpecker 1

It was a grim, dismal morning, and a much quieter day for migration than yesterday, with virtually no pipit or Skylark passage whilst I was at the beacon, though I must admit, I didn't feel inclined to hang around too long in the dank conditions. On the walk up to the beacon a superb Merlin darted across the road and away over the horse paddocks. I identified it as a juvenile male due to its small size, which was about the same as a Mistle Thrush. Merlins are always exciting birds to see. It's also pleasing to still be seeing Wheatears. Todays birds, which were both 1st winter, were the 2nd latest I have ever seen in St Helens, but they still have someway to go to beat the record, which was of a bird I saw in Newton-le-Willows on 17/10/1983.
A warm night is forecast, so I've just put the moth trap out in anticipation of a migrant or perhaps the mythical Merveille du Jour. Looking out of the window now, I think I might consider myself lucky if I have any moths tomorrow morning. Watch this space........

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