Monday 26th November 2018 – Midgefest!


Midge swarm 26th November 2018

After another 10-day gap due to indifferent weather, today was almost perfect, with low winds and no rain forecast. Looking at the Atlantic pressure charts for the next week or so, it was clear this was going to be a brief weather window that had to be taken advantage of. The benign conditions coincided with an emergence of Chironomid midges from the sewage works. These short-lived insects form the major part of wintering Chiffchaffs’ diets and about thirty birds were taking advantage of the glut.

The sand bar at South Milton Sands, which controls the water levels at SML is unusually high at the moment and the two seaward net rides have been inaccessible since the late summer. The level of impounded fresh water behind the sand bar has risen significantly and is now just a few cm below the bridge to Marsh Ride. With over 2m of flowing water in the ditch, crossing the bridge requires care!

Marsh bridge

51 birds of 12 species were trapped but only 35 were new birds: 2 Blackbird, 4 Blue Tit, 4 Bullfinch, 1 Chaffinch, 15 Chiffchaff, 1 Dunnock, 1 Reed Bunting, 1 Robin, 6 Wren.


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