Marsh Tit, Whinchats, Hobby

A gorgeous early autumn day, this time with the benefit of plenty of birds too.

The morning started with a Grey Wagtail low over Firle cricket pitch and subsequently on rooftops near the Ram. I can’t get enough of these birds – attractive and characterful, and all the more enjoyable for being seasonal visitors to the village.

Arriving at the Safari Britain campsite it was quickly obvious that migration was heavy. I counted at least 30 Willow Warblers in a mixed flock of phylloscs and tits at the campsite itself, by far the largest gathering I’ve ever come across in Firle.

Setting out across the escarpment towards Tilton, a loud gathering of Linnets in the game cover erupted into a handful of loose flocks, numbering at least 45 and probably many more. Meanwhile three Whinchats performed their perky sentinel duty on the adjacent hedge, and a sporadic stream of hirundines low across the meadow including the odd Sand Martin.

Heading up Tilton Bostal, a Buzzard sailed over in angle-winged, I’m-a-proper-bird-of-prey-really mode, and then an adult Hobby gave a dashing fly-by.

Back at the campsite, an impressive gathering of hirundines was hawking insects over the escarpment, and Nuthatch, Treecreeper and Green Woodpecker all called, but best of all a Marsh Tit or two started calling ‘pitchu’, first from the beech wood, and then from the hedge adjoinging the pheasant enclosure.

This is my first record for Firle since August 2005, when a couple of birds spent a week or so along the Old Coach Road close to the Firle Place pleasure gardens – again, that record was in late summer.

This evening, a perfectly still, warm night – and Tawny Owls shrieking clearly in the dark.

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One thought on “Marsh Tit, Whinchats, Hobby

  1. Pingback: More Marsh Tits « Firle birds

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