August 11th   Leave a comment

The swifts have gone. From over 50 on Wednesday night screaming over the High Street at dusk to none today. I was in England on Thursday and Friday so I’m not sure which day they left, but I didn’t see any there either. It is a fantastic synchronised departure: we really have no idea how they do it. The timing varies annually and doesn’t seem correlated with any particular cue or weather conditions. Somehow they all decide to leave at the same time, although birds from further north and the odd straggler will be passing through Crail for the next two weeks.

Crail is full of young willow warblers softly making their soft “who-wheat” call from garden trees and bushes. When you see one they are tiny, quite yellow and delicate looking. They are learning to forage efficiently and getting to know the neighbourhood before their migration to West Africa in September. This period spent getting to know the area around where they were born is investment in in rapidly finding a good territory when they return next April.

Juvenile willow warbler

Posted August 11, 2018 by wildcrail in Sightings

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