I think it is fair to say that autumn migration at SML this year has been less than spectacular with lower numbers and less variety than usual. So much so that it has taken me five days to summon up the enthusiasm to document my visit last Saturday when just 34 new birds were ringed: 3 Blackbird, 15 Blackcap, 1 Bullfinch, 4 Chiffchaff, 2 Dunnock, 2 Reed Warbler, 2 Robin, 2 Sedge Warbler, 2 Willow Warbler and 1 Wren.
Today started more promisingly with around 40 Blackcap and 30 Chiffchaff on site. The second bird in the net was a female Firecrest, the earliest autumn bird I have trapped at SML. After a brisk start things suddenly deteriorated when a tanker turned up at the STW at 8am and pumped very noisily for the next four hours, driving all the birds out of the area and forcing me to pack up at 11. The final total was just 36 new birds: 15 Blackcap, 1 Chaffinch, 9 Chiffchaff, 3 Dunnock, 1 Firecrest, 1 Reed Warbler, 5 Sedge Warbler and a Tree Pipit.