This has been one of those months where we have walked, rather than watched birds (although we always take the lightweight binoculars just in case). The problem with trying to do both is that watching birds takes time and patience: a trip to Yarner Wood will be three or four hours, and only a couple of miles or so covered. On the other hand, in the same time on the moor we will tramp eight or so miles, and stopping means getting cold! The moor should have been busier: September is usually the month when Meadow Pipits on passage from further north stop to feed in the bracken. We saw this in late August (see my previous post) but not this month. The weather in this part of the world has been better after the rain in June and July. It has also been warm: 7 September as warm as any day this year. One result is that the bracken turned early. At month end we were in upstate New York, in the Catskills and a whole new birding world.
Sunday 9 September Overcast and chilly
Higher White Tor/Lower White Tor and Broad Down (11.00 - 3.00): a pair of Ravens flying west towards Devil Tor; otherwise the moor seemed almost empty.
Sunday 16 September Bright at first then overcast
Hennock Reservoirs (3.00 - 5.00): birdsong and chatter through the woods up from the Trenchford car park - Coal and Blue Tits and Nuthatch; Wren and juvenile by the stream at the top of Tottiford; Mallard on Kennick.
Friday 28 September Starting bright but overcast later
Boiceville, NY (09.00): a dozen Turkey Vultures slowly wheeling in a bright blue sky above the Trail Motel.
Ashokan Reservoir, NY (10.30 - 11.30): above the Lemon Squeeze, Bald Eagle, Northern Goshawk, American Crow mobbing a smaller raptor (?Merlin), Wild Turkey (4) on the edge of the woodland, Blue Jays (6+ pairs).
Saturday 29 September Bright and warm
Boiceville, NY (0.900): again, Turkey Vultures high over the town.
Prattsville, NY (11.30): gaggle of Wild Turkey.
Sunday 30 September Sun and cloud, and warm
West Barnstable, Mass (Cape Cod): Rough Legged Hawk, Downy Woodpeckers, Goldfinch (in transition), Black-capped Chickadees, Northern Cardinals, Blue Jays, Brown-headed Cowbird, American Crow, various sorts of Sparrow.