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Thanks for taking time to visit the 2008 Happisburgh Bird Diary, we hope you enjoyed reading it. To find out what Ossie and I see this year please visit the Happisburgh Parish Bird List 2009 ...

21st - 27th September

No cloud and no wind is how the week commenced, although a light E-NE on Monday had increasedto force 5 by Tuesday, easing to a light in strength by Friday and reverting to a gentle W'ly for the weekend. Cloud was variable throughout, it remained dry and we saw plenty of sunshine.

Tuesday, with a brisk NE'ly, tempted me twice to the sea to watch for seabirds. My first session was only for 30 mins and I came away having noted just 3 Arctic Skuas and a single Great Skua. Back again at 10:45 I stayed for an hour and fared slightly better. It was looking like a good day for Great Skua passage was underway and no fewer than 25 passed southwards. One Arctic and 4 very distant, unidentified Skua species also passed south, as well as c.50 Sandwich Terns whilst one of my favourite seabirds, a Sooty Shearwater headed north. Wildfowl was poorly represented with just 20 Common Scoter, 2 Wigeon, 20 Teal and a single Brent Goose moving by.

With the air still originating from the continent, good numbers of small migrant birds were still arriving. During the week, wherever I went, there were birds that had drifted in from northern Europe and perhaps further east. Chiffchaffs, Goldcrests, Redstarts were all present in good numbers along with a few each of Common and Lesser Whitethroat, Blackcap, Garden Warbler and Willow Warbler. Wheatears, Pied Flycatchers and Whinchats were also noted and from 26th, Robins were most abundant with over 100 seen locally that day. Also during the week were the autumn's first Bramblings, 2 in the garden of Briar Lodge, and Song Thrushes 'dropping out of the sky' was indicative of birds making landfall. Siskins, that brightly coloured green and black finch often seen on garden feeders, were on the move and seen or heard most days as were occasional Reed Buntings and Redpolls. A southerly passage of Meadow Pipits was especially evident on Saturday when the Dunnock population seemed to have increased too.

With NE'lies in September, birders thoughts turn to birds with a more distant origin, and most are eagerly anticipating the arrival of birds that breed in Siberia and normally winter in the Indian subcontinent or south-east Asia. I'm no different, and on Wednesday morning as I took Ossie for his daily exercise, a Warbler flew from a Hawthorn and away into a short stretch of Sycamore hedge. I was struck by it's small size and my suspicions were soon confirmed when a Yellow-browed Warbler appeared amongst the slowly turning Sycamore leaves. This species is one of the more regular 'Sibes' that turn up in the UK and with their nearest breeding grounds are some 3,000 km distant, this little fellow had made quite a journey. Two days later I was walking along the drain that borders the meadows behind Lower Farm, checking for migrants in any available cover. Reaching the row of Poplars I paused and began 'pishing' to attract any small birds that may be sheltering nearby when, lo and behold, the first bird to investigate was another Yellow-browed Warbler. As it was only about 500m and 2 days from the first, it could possibly have been the same bird, but that is something that will remain a mystery. Shortly after, a sharp piercing whistle heard was the call of a Kingfisher and this one most likely was the same bird I recorded nearby earlier in August...

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