Autumn migration for smaller passerines tends to be a slow affair. It is particularly so this year with weather conditions in the north enjoying moderate temperatures and sunny days. Of course, unlike spring migration, birds do not need to hurry to establish prime territories for breeding. So it is that this year birds are arriving in dribs and drabs, no great falls of migrant passerines.
And yet there are one or two signs things are about to happen, expectations rising with an influx of White Wagtail. Could these entertaining birds be the vanguard for our Meadow Pipit, Black Redstart, Ring Ouzel and Common Crane? Just where are our Chiffchaff, normally these busy leaf warblers are arriving in good numbers? We wait with bated breath as the second half of October surely must produce the expect rush from the north.
When the expected arrival of wintering birds arrive, it can be fun to attempt separating biogeographical races, especially with Chiffchaff and to a lesser extent Meadow Pipit. Of course our wintering Ring Ouzel are of 2 different subspecies as too are Black Redstart. So it can be a challenge to examine more closely these various subspecies, try it.
For now enjoy the moderate temperatures and hunting for winter arrivals.