night-time movements of Redwing and Godwits

This is the time of year Redwings start migrating northwards, primarily at night. Despite the cloudy conditions I counted a fair few overhead last night- listen out for them, the gorgeous atmospheric calls is one of my favourite, especially in October/November when it seems like the sound of autumn to me. If you aren’t familiar with their call, the link below should be useful;

http://www.xeno-canto.org/browse.php?query=Redwing+%28Turdus+iliacus%29+56&species_nr=bkjjwi

and while you’re there, listen to their song as well, sometimes you can hear it from now onwards,as birds practice for the breeding grounds they are very soon heading too. Unlike their calls, the song is a very tuneful warble, most similar to the song of the Blackcap.

Another somewhat peculiar February speciality for me is Bar-tailed Godwit. Last year many were heard passing over at this time of year, along with a few Golden Plover, Curlew, Dunlin and even a night-flying flock of Brent Goose! Last year I assumed they were relocating following the cold weather, but it’s been quite mild recently… so anyway, the single Bar-tailed Godwit I heard pass over the house at about 11:00 PM last night was quite a surprise! Perhaps they’re actually a regular February occurence, I’ll have to keep an ear out tonight as well.

a spring migrant in the Cuckmere, April 2011image of  migrant Bar-tailed Godwit, Cuckmere Haven, April 2o11

here are some recording of Bar-wit (possibly my favourite birding abbreviation) which you could take a look at.

http://www.xeno-canto.org/browse.php?query=Bar-tailed+Godwit+%28Limosa+lapponica%29+6&species_nr=firpyn

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Waders at Arlington Reservoir

A good day for waders at Arlington Reservoir – 4 Bar-tailed Godwits flew NE in the morning (Paul James), and late this afternoon there were three Greenshank, a Dunlin and a Common Sandpiper on site. (Matt Eade – both per SOS site)