Birdwatch October 2018

Yet again our birdwatcher Steve Jones reports lower numbers of species sighted than might be expected.

Group of Starlings Group of Starlings Photo: Steve Jones

Once again October has been quiet in the numbers of birds about and new species passing through.

I was swimming most mornings at Soline/Vrboska and, as reported last month, on October 2nd I saw five common cranes passing over. For two weeks there was a regular Kingfisher visiting at Soline, and during the early part of October I was seeing regular Swallows and Swifts, seeing my last Swift on October 10th.

At the beginning of the month the Blackcaps were most prominent by sound and if you were lucky enough you might see one before it went into the undergrowth.

Female Blackcap. Photo: Steve Jones

Here are examples of female (brown cap, pictured above) and the male (pictured below).

Male Blackcap. Photo: Steve Jones

There was also the odd Wheatear, sometimes on the airfield but this was taken in Dol near the Sv Ana church.

Wheatear. Photo: Steve Jones

As we approached mid October you probably noticed that Robins were starting to sing and they took over as being the most prominent bird. At much the same time we had several Stonechats arrive. As I see them in most Winter months I think that the odd one or two overwinter here although the bulk would move on.

Stonechat. Photo: Steve Jones

In mid-October you also see more activity from birds of prey. I was seeing regular Sparrowhawk and Buzzards, and I managed a poor shot of a Kestrel near the airfield on the October 13th.

Kestrel. Photo: Steve Jones

On October 23rd I saw three Lapwings, I often see them in the Spring but this was the first time I have seen them in October. On the same day saw my first returning Black Redstart and since then several are appearing all over now. Many will over winter here and leave in around March or April next year. These are pretty nondescript in the Winter and they don’t start colouring up until the Spring, try as I might I have yet to capture one on camera in breeding plumage. In the picture you can just make out the orange tail feathers. They will be often seen on buildings or walls, characteristically bobbing.

Lapwing. Photo: Steve Jones

I was also beginning to see bigger flocks of finches. Mainly Chaffinch with a few Serin amongst them. What was interesting (although it may have been a bit early) was that I didn't see one Goldfinch this Autumn. I kept expecting to get more sightings of birds round and about, with the fine weather conditions, but there was next to nothing. 

Starlings flock. Photo: Steve Jones

The most interesting thing for me this month was the arrival of Starlings. It is a common and fantastic sight in the UK when they come into roost in the evening in huge numbers. In mid-month I saw one Starling which I would not be surprised by, then 30+ a few days later. These numbers have been slowly building and I did a rough count of about 150 on October 31st. What makes this really interesting for me is that I have not picked up on these birds coming back through in the Autumn in previous years. It would be nice to find out where they are roosting at dusk ……………….. more work required in November!!

Starlings in trees. Photo: Steve Jones

© Steve Jones 2018

For more of Steve's nature pictures, see his personal pages: Bird Pictures on Hvar 2017Bird Pictures and Sightings on Hvar 2018, and Butterflies of Hvar

 

You are here: Home Nature Watch Birdwatch October 2018

Eco Environment News feeds

  • From wonky veg to distanced restaurants, Covid-19 has transformed the way we shop, cook and eat. Have we fixed our relationship with food for good?

    If I thought food waste was complicated before Covid-19 emerged, now it blows my mind. I started to research a version of this article in January – those carefree days when people worried about supermarkets overstocking, not the disappearance of pasta and flour. Even then, the picture was hazy, but it was much clearer than it is now.

    Until lockdown, most of us were accustomed to any-time, any-place food shopping. Remember when you could eat in all sorts of places? Food was available everywhere, for those with means – and we ate everywhere, too: leaning against a wall with a box of slow-cooked pork from a street-food market; sharing popcorn at the cinema or chips at the pub. They say you’re never more than 6ft from a rat in Britain’s towns and cities, but we were also never much farther from a snack. Then, in an instant, it was gone.

    Continue reading...

  • Study finds British Columbia birds’ dropped-end note of call has spread across country

    If you consider Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep to be the ultimate catchy tune, think again: the white-throated sparrows of British Columbia have devised a new song that has gone viral across Canada.

    For years, the small songbird’s traditional descending whistle featured a three-note ending. But researchers have tracked how a unique two-note-ending version of the male bird’s call has rapidly spread 3,000km (1,864 miles) eastwards from western Canada to central Ontario during this century.

    Continue reading...

  • Theo and Gloria Ferguson have created a garden specially designed to attract hummingbirds – and hundreds visit daily

    At the foot of Theo and Gloria Ferguson’s property stands a giant silk cotton tree. Reminiscent of those enchanted species in children’s fables, this ancient sentinel’s huge varicose limbs yawn upwards and outwards, towards a canopy of leaves that scratch the sky. Eight adults linking arms would struggle to encircle its vast girth, proof of the aeons it has stood guarding the edge of Trinidad’s Maracas valley.

    Continue reading...

  • Restoration work and wet winter have led to an explosion of colour and an increase in birds

    A well known piece of the British landscape that had become depleted of flora and fauna because of years of intensive farming is alive with wildflowers, butterflies and birds this summer.

    Since the National Trust acquired fields on top of the white cliffs of Dover two and half years ago after a £1m national appeal championed by Dame Vera Lynn, it has worked to restore the area to rich grassland.

    Continue reading...

  • The American environment and energy commentator’s piece in the Australian has found praise in conservative media

    Few things engage a particular subset of conservative media more than an environmentalist having an apparent change of heart and dumping all over the “climate scare”.

    Earlier this week, the Australian newspaper ran an opinion piecethat fitted this narrative so perfectly that room was found on its front page.

    Continue reading...

  • Company convicted of trying to export used nappies and other contaminated materials illegally

    One of the UK’s biggest waste firms has lost a case in the court of appeal to overturn a criminal conviction for exporting dirty waste to China.

    The Environment Agency, which brought a successful criminal prosecution a year ago against Biffa Waste Services Ltd, which was convicted of trying to send used nappies and other contaminated materials illegally to China, welcomed Friday’s ruling and said exports of this kind of illegal waste “blighted the lives and environment of people overseas”.

    Continue reading...

  • The pick of the world’s best flora and fauna photos, including a hatching crocodile and Mexican grey wolf cubs

    Continue reading...

  • Scottish court rules that environmental group defied court order banning the protest

    Greenpeace has been fined £80,000 after a Scottish court found it guilty of the “wilful defiance” of a court order banning it from occupying a North Sea oil rig.

    Lady Wolffe, sitting in the court of session in Edinburgh, said Greenpeace UK had deliberately broken an interdict, or injunction, against occupying a platform owned by the US contractor Transocean in June 2019.

    Continue reading...

  • Frequency of heatwaves and cumulative intensity has risen through the decades, research finds

    Heatwaves have increased in both length and frequency in nearly every part of the world since the 1950s, according to what is described as the first study to look at the issue at a regional level.

    The study found the escalation in heatwaves varied around the planet, with the Amazon, north-eastern Brazil, west Asia (including parts of the subcontinent and central Asia) and the Mediterranean all experiencing more rapid change than, for example, southern Australia and north Asia. The only inhabited region where there was not a trend was in the central United States.

    Continue reading...

  • Tees Valley mayor hails rental scheme as ‘clean energy, socially distant mode of transport’

    Residents of Middlesbrough in north-east England will be the first in the UK to legally ride electric scooters on the open road when the law changes on Saturday, as the government struggles to prevent a recovery from coronavirus based on cars.

    Though e-scooters have been whizzing illegally around many UK cities for the past few years, the pandemic has prompted the government to speed up plans to pilot public rental schemes.

    Continue reading...

Eco Health News feeds

Eco Nature News feeds

Feed not found.