Friday, 1 October 2010

The MAGIC month is here!

Well it's October. Hopes are high and the weather is favourable for migrants. We're due a bumper yank year, let's hope it's this one. Here's my top five forecast...I'd settle for one! (preferably on Scilly, 23rd onwards)

1.Swainson's Thrush
2.Parula Warbler
3.Yellow-billed Cuckoo
4.Black-billed Cuckoo
5.Cape May Warbler - well I can dream!

After the Blakeney Point experience, 2 washout Sundays (and the strong possibility of a third) we're off to Spurn tomorrow for hopefully a bird-filled DRY Saturday?

N.B Empid finders account here plus interesting comment from a US birder:-
"Let me start my reminding everyone that Kaufman's (excellent for the time) Advanced Birding is quite dated by now. Thankfully, I know he's about to release an update!
Many if not most non-calling empids are far from impossible to identify in the field. What it takes is many, many years of experience with vocalizing birds in the field. Nothing can replace thousands of hours in the field actually looking at the things. In fact, I find that birds in-the-hand are often harder to identify, because they're not showing off their natural jizz.
Anyway, I feel this bird is an Alder Flycatcher. Compared to Willow, on average, Alders have darker crowns that contrast with a paler back (concolorous in Willow), shorter bill, more prominent eyering, are more colorful overall, and have and a flatter crown. Shape-wise, Willows are more pewee-like, and I've on more than one occasion mistaken a pewee for Willow or the other way 'round. Never for Alder.
For what it's worth, Alder and Yellow-bellied were the only two possibilities that even entered my head when looking at this bird. It's so short-billed, brightly-colored, and "cute-looking" that Willow was never a consideration for me.
I might also mention that the other recent UK empid was, purely from photos, a pretty solid Alder, and that measurements later proved that"

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