Sunday, 15 September 2013

The question facing every Chiffchaff- should I stay or should I go?

Counted upwards of 7 Chiffchaff around the patch this morning, 5 at Surlingham Church Marsh and 2 at Rockland Broad. 2 were in song, which got me thinking. How many of the birds I saw today will be wintering here in Norfolk? A minority I would suspect, but wintering Chiffs are on the rise, so the data tells us. Perhaps the birds in song were the birds planning to stay, proclaiming this is me, and this will be my territory for Christmas dinner and beyond. The songsters remained hidden, but the birds I were able to see appeared to be fresh juveniles integrated with mixed Tit flocks, gleaning insects from the greenery. I also heard what I believe to be the warbled and guttural sub-song of a Blackcap, another candidate for residency. Add in the singing Cetti's Warbler (2) and for the first time in around 2 months, Warbler song had returned to the patch.
After walking the circuit at church marsh and seeing no-one (lovely) I headed to Rockland Broad chasing a report of a juvenile Black Tern from yesterday. No sign, yet again Rockland fails to deliver! Reports on the sightings board of recent Osprey and Bittern.

Yesterday I decided a sea watch was well overdue, but so was I it seemed as an hour at Scratby in the afternoon threw up 2 Med Gulls and a R Diver. I had feared the best had passed. Losing the will, I had a quick poke round King's Loke in Hemsby. No migrants as yet, but I will persist here and hopefully the best is yet to come this Autumn. My new job is enjoyable but time consuming, so I will have to make the most of some early starts over the next few weeks I'm sure.

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