It's been surprisingly mild though and late butterflies continue to feed before going into hibernation.
Several commas, red admirals and small tortoiseshells have been in my garden near Derby, feeding on michaelmas daisies and now on ivy blossom. In addition I've put out rotting plums, damsons and bananas which the commas and red admirals love, probing their proboscises deep into the gooey mess.
|Red admiral on ivy|
|Fieldfare by Pauline Greenhalgh|
Suddenly, a raptor flew up in front of me and went over my head, rather half-heartedly chasing a pigeon. It was a juvenile male peregrine falcon and I wondered if it might be from the cathedral since I was only a few miles from the city.
Serious vis miggers contribute their sightings to a website run by a Dutchman and called Trektellen. Some counts are amazing either for the sheer number of birds recorded or for the variety of species seen. Look at http://www.trektellen.nl/trektelling.asp?telpost=751 to see how many redwings were counted on a single morning flying over a hill in Bedfordshire on 10th October. That must have been amazing!
The best vis mig watch points tend to be among hills or moors where birds are channelled by the contours. But even if you just step outside your house and look up, wherever you are, on a 'good day' you can expect to see redwings, fieldfares or woodies flying over....as long as you get up early! Usually by 9-10 am, passage is much reduced or over, the birds then settling to feed.
Nick B (DWT)
Ps. The best conditions for movement are good visibility, overcast skies and light SW winds but locally birds may move in a wide range of weather types. On clear nights, go outside anytime after 10/11 pm and listen for the 'seep seep' calls of redwings flying overhead....it's magic to hear them passing....and, as Lorraine commented recently, it must be quite exciting for our cathedral peregrines too.