As the Autumn migration continues, a rare and exciting tiny little bird has turned up in the meadows – a Yellow-Browed Warbler:
An insectivorous bird that has a long yellow eye stripe and two yellow bands on its wing.
These little birds breed in Mongolia and then migrate south-west in the Autumn to over-winter in forested hills of Asian countries such as India. But every Autumn a few inexplicably turn up in the UK – usually a couple of hundred although in 2016 the number was larger.
It is not understood why they arrive in the UK, so far off course, and it is also not known where they then move on to. The last couple of Springs have seen a few of these birds passing back across the UK, suggesting that they did find somewhere to successfully over-winter such as maybe Spain, and are then returning to Mongolia to breed.
Perhaps it will be this little bird here that was caught, ringed and released in our meadows yesterday that will be retrapped elsewhere over this coming winter and so shed some light on what they are doing.
The bird ringing morning was very busy yesterday.
The flock of Goldfinches swirling around the meadows has perhaps doubled over the last couple of days and now number around 70 birds. They descend en masse onto the dried up heads of Knapweed, onto the feeders or to drink and wash in the pond. They are a noisy bunch with much squabbling and in-fighting and no sooner have they all arrived, do they all take off again and are gone.
It seems that October is a very interesting month in the world of birds.