Tuesday 11th August 2020

The middle of August is usually the busiest time of year at SML and with an easterly element in the breeze and few thunderstorms the previous night I was expecting great things. It seems that my understanding of the impact of the weather on migration patterns still has a long way to go and the site resembled the avian equivalent of the Marie Celeste. There was a complete absence of visible passage overhead with not a single hirundine, wagtail or pipit seen flying over all day. It seems that the only migrants reaching southern England at the moment have arrived on the Channel coast in inflatable boats.

On the ground Willow Warblers and Blackcaps were missing altogether and just two Sedge Warblers were trapped all day. There were conciliations in the form of the first Tree Pipit trapped this autumn and a single Garden Warbler, both tape-lured, but the blistering heat and high humidity made everything hard work and in the end I packed up early. Final totals were 37 new birds and one control Reed Warbler with a Slapton ring: 19 Chiffchaff, 1 Dunnock, 1 Garden Warbler, 2 Great Tit, 8 Reed Warbler, 1 Robin, 2 Sedge Warbler, 1 Tree Pipit and 3 Wren.

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