Tuesday, 29 March 2011
School Migration throws up a Surprise!
I had planned to go out after school today to try and get an early Swallow at the mere, an idea which was reinforced when I got a text around 11ish from Ash saying that he had just had 2 over his school. Luckily for me I had English last lesson which is on the second floor of the highest block at my school, so I hoped that I might be able to see some signs of migration from my higher vantage point. It soon became clear that there was a clear line of migration going NNE across my school with small birds passing along it every couple of minutes. Over the 50 minutes I was watching I had 106 of these small birds moving in this way (2 wagtails, the rest being pipits and finches i think). After 15 minutes or so a single Swallow (yeartick) was spotted moving along this line and a Buzzard moved the other way, putting all the gulls up as it did. At 14:30 all of the gulls suddenly took off from around the school and started spiralling upwards so I assumed that the Buzzard was back again. Sure enough a large bird of prey appeared high from the south and then joined the gulls circling around it, coming ever closer as it did. It was obvious from where I was that this bird was much larger than the gulls around it, and larger than the buzzard from earlier as well. It was also noticeably lighter underneath and when it banked round away from me I could see the classic crooked wing appearance of an Osprey (yeartick)! It continued to circle round for the next 2 minutes before heading off NE towards the river, along with a trail of pursuing gulls.