Ornithology meeting Sunday 20th September 2015

Eight people met at the car park nearest the radio station on Ventnor Downs for a walk led by David Biggs. The sun was shining, conditions just right for a pleasant slow wander along looking for migrants. The first thing we all noticed was that the Barn Swallows were on the move, a constant flow of them gradually flying to the southwest although many were wheeling around catching flies. In amongst them were House Martins and some Sand Martins. A Raven could be heard calling and at one point was seen perched on one of the radio masts. Although we were expecting to see a number of Northern Wheatear only one was noted. There were several Meadow Pipits and one male and three female or immature Stonechats as well. By far the most common migrant seen was the Common Redstart with at least six counted. Two Spotted Flycatchers, a Common Whitethroat, several Chiffchaffs and some Willow/Chiffs also were seen. We eventually spotted a Whinchat and whilst watching this bird I looked behind me and spotted a Dartford Warbler. The Dartford was very obliging as it flew from gorse bush to gorse bush so everyone could see it. Of our common birds we noted Robin, Wren, Dunnock, Kestrel, Buzzard, Starling, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Green Woodpecker, Crow and Jackdaw. Jackie Hart

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