There is always a bit of a lull in bird activity at Nagshead from July to the end of August, but September can deliver surprises as Autumn migration gets underway and this morning was no exception. After a quick walk around the Nursery Meadows it became clear that some passage migrants had been grounded by the overnight showers. First a male Stonechat popped up on some bracken making the distinctive 'chack chack' call from which the species gets it's name. Next to the Stonechat, a much paler bird popped up... a Whinchat! Stonechats are unusual enough on the reserve (only two have been recorded in the past seven years), but the Whinchat was a real surprise. Along with the chats, there was at least one Spotted Flycatcher and three Chiffchaffs around the scrub. It might not sound like much if you are used to birding in migrant hotspots, but that is actually a nice little 'fall' of migrants for 3 hectares of scrub and grassland in the middle of ancient woodland. Migration really is amazing and I wouldn't mind betting there are other gems out on the reserves to be found...
Male Stonechat, RSPB Nagshead (Photo: Lewis Thomson)
First winter Whinchat, RSPB Nagshead (Photo: Lewis Thomson)
If you see anything interesting around the reserves, please do let us know.