With the month rolling on it’s time to catch up with all the comings and goings “on the doorstep” as I take another look at birdwatching down in the valley below the village. All those House Martins that hung on through the tail-end of summmer have finally really thinned out now…with just the last one or two joining their Crag Martin cousins in the skies over the ridge. The Bee Eaters too have left en masse and I haven’t heard their familiar calls for at least a fortnight. All the Spotted Flycatchers seemed to disappear suddenly overnight towards the end of last month, as did the Alpine Swifts which had continued to arrive above the cliff and trill loudly into the night for weeks. A single pale-form Booted Eagle soared purposefully down the valley and headed for the coast, followed a couple of hours later by two more…I wonder if these individuals may be the last we’ll see this season as they relocate to Africa for the winter.
This is however, only part of the picture. Our raucous Sardinian Warblers have been joined by huge numbers of wintering Blackcap, gorging themselves in the fruit trees nearby…I’ve never seen so many in one place at one time. Chiffchaff continue to show well, flicking their tails as they forage animatedly through the orchards and olive groves around the house. The flocks of Serin and Goldfinches seem to be getting larger and other regulars continue to show well…I’ve had great views of Blue Rock Thrush over the past fortnight, as this year’s youngsters relocate through the valley from their parents’ territories.
Robins have arrived in the last week or so, adding their sweet song to the familiar mix of warblers, finches, Great Tits and House Sparrows. The dawn chorus sounds like a spring morning and we’re almost in November! Fantastic to have Black Redstart back with us too…always a highlight for me, it’s only been a few days since they started to arrive but I’m seeing more and more now. With their jet black and sooty grey plumage and the red flash of their tails they’re a great seasonal addition the list and I hope we’ll be seeing them right through the coming months. With other wintering birds on their way we will as ever keep all the news up to date. With trips in the pipeline we’re looking to get the year-list up so watch this space for details!