SEPTEM­BER TO-DO LIST

Bird Watching (UK) - - News Wire -

Au­tumn mi­gra­tion is in full swing, so there are plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties to add new birds to your list.

Catch up with the pas­sage mi­grants you missed out on in the spring, as they make their re­turn jour­neys south. Make a list of tar­gets, and learn­ing ju­ve­nile plumages will help a lot, too.

Learn some flight calls, and try a morn­ing’s vis­i­ble mi­gra­tion watch­ing. This can be a great way to pick up species such as Wood Lark, or Whin­chat.

Skuas mi­grate across land at this time of year, typ­i­cally fly­ing up es­tu­ar­ies, then as­cend­ing to great heights to make the cross­ing, be­fore de­scend­ing again to join an es­tu­ary on the other side of the coun­try. The Wash-sev­ern Es­tu­ary and Firth of Forth-sol­way Firth are two known routes. Even if you can’t get to the es­tu­ar­ies to watch for them, keep an eye out dur­ing bad weather, when they may be forced to make their cross-coun­try jour­ney at lower al­ti­tude.

Keep an eye on the weather – mid-septem­ber of­ten gets gales and storms, which can drive seabirds such as Leach’s Pe­trels in­land or close in­shore (they’re typ­i­cally found along the west coast, and es­pe­cially in the Mersey and Dee es­tu­ar­ies), as well as ground­ing passer­ine mi­grants.

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