FIELD­CRAFT

RE­PEATED CHECK­ING

Bird Watching (UK) - - Your Birding Month October -

Au­tumn is a peak time for mi­gra­tion. In­creas­ingly, bird­watch­ers are aware of ‘vis­i­ble mi­gra­tion’, AKA vis mig, when birds can be seen (and/ or heard) in the ac­tual act of mi­gra­tion. Mi­gra­tion ceases to be a the­o­ret­i­cal con­cept and ap­pears as an ob­serv­able re­al­ity. Most vis mig watches con­sist of ob­serv­ing birds fly­ing over a prom­i­nent spot. But you can also ob­serve birds on the move at places like mud-fringed gravel pits and the like. Birds such as waders may be on the move, of­ten in small par­ties, at dif­fer­ent times of day, and seek out such sites for a bit of a wash and brush up, a drink and per­haps a brief re­fu­elling feed. If you check such a site first thing in the morn­ing, you may leave hav­ing recorded no waders. Come back a bit later though, and there could be a few waders drop­ping in be­fore head­ing off. Come again even later and there could be a whole new set of pass­ing birds pop­ping in and out. Only by re­peated vis­its (or a long, con­tin­u­ous vigil) will you be able to gauge what is re­ally ap­pear­ing at your favourite lo­cal site.

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