October 14th – first winter thrushes

7:00 – 9:00 am Temp : 12°c Wind: ESE 7mph / gusts 14mph

With reports of fieldfares arriving in the UK en masse over the last 24 hours and a few of us hearing redwings last night, combined with the best conditions we’ve had in a while, we were all quite hopeful that we would see some Scandinavian thrushes making their way over Bristol this morning.

Things didn’t get moving until sunrise at around 7:30 and tailed off towards the end of the count at 9am. In general, we had smaller numbers of meadow pipits and alba wagtails, hardly any chaffinches and quite a big movement of greenfinches. A few firsts from the tower, when the redwings and fieldfares started to arrive, then a linnet and then 4 skylark going north. Swallows still passing, but no sign of the redpolls that people have been seeing over the last few days. Redwings were in small groups, with 17 the highest and the fieldfares were only passing in 1s and 2s until a group of 70 passed SSW just before 9am. The odd rw/ff stopped briefly at the hill before moving on.

COUNTS (S / SW unless stated otherwise):

meadow pipit – 36 (largest group 10)

alba wagtail – 17 (in 2s and 3s)

redwing – 79 (largest group 17)

fieldfare – 75 (group of 70)

swallow – 17 (SE)

siskin – 7

greenfinch – 85 (groups of 10-15)

skylark – 4 (N)

mistle thrush – 4 (N then back S)

songthrush – 3

The greenfinch movement was probably the most interesting and although I had hoped for a few more thrushes, at least they are heading over town, so potential for the next few days.

Other sightings were a group of 5 ravens, a group of c40 carrion crows chasing each other around the tower and a nice view of a young male sparrowhawk making a few attempts on the resident passerines.

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