Chris Farthing’s Woodberry bird highlights: September 2018

September is a month of arrivals and departures, as we say goodbye to the last of our summer visitors and welcome more of our regular winter birds. Passage migrants can also still be occasionally seen during stop-offs on their southbound journeys.

Only one new bird for 2018 was seen during September, when a wheatear was seen all-too-briefly in flight over the northern reed-bed. This brings the total number of species seen here this year to 95.

Our most common passage migrant, common sandpiper, was seen most days for the first half of the month. Other birds passing through were two sedge warblers (main picture above) seen in the reed-bed on the 3rd, and a whitethroat which was present on the 13th.

As usual in late autumn, duck numbers were on the increase. One or two teal were seen regularly, and shoveler (1) numbers increased to around 60. By the end of the month a few of the males were in winter plumage. There were a few sightings each of yellow-legged gull (2) and common gull. Other winter birds which were seen infrequently were water rail, reed bunting and kingfisher.

Two species seen regularly in September which have been scarce for most of the year so far were green woodpecker (3), a juvenile of which was seen often around the woodland trail, and kestrel (4), with regular sightings of both male and female birds.

The last swift of the year was seen on the 2nd, with the last sand martin and house martin being the 22nd and 24th respectively. Departing warblers were a last reed warbler on the 19th and willow warbler on the 27th.

The total number of bird species seen in September was 65, a similar total to both 2017 (67) and 2016 (66)


[All photos by Chris Farthing]

Posted on October 08th 2018