Sunday 8th September 2019 – Great balls of fire!

I arrived at SML a little too early this morning – fifty minutes before sunrise – and it was pretty dark. However, the timing turned out to be perfect. As I pulled into the ringing area, a bright white meteorite streaked across the sky in front of me, from east to west, breaking up into several orange pieces as it descended. It looked like a plane that had been hit by a missile. Apparently, it was visible across southern England and in western France and resulted in a spate of 999 calls and police helicopters searching Dartmoor for a crashed aircraft.

That excitement aside, it felt autumnal with the temperature around 9oC. Blackcaps dominated the catch again, which also included the first Goldcrests of the season and a few tardy warblers. The final tally was 52 new birds of 14 species: 6 Blackbird, 20 Blackcap, 2 Blue Tit, 1 Bullfinch, 5 Chiffchaff, 1 Dunnock, 1 Garden Warbler, 4 Goldcrest, 2 Great Tit, 1 Reed Warbler, 2 Robin, 2 Sedge Warbler, 3 Willow Warbler and 2 Wren.

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