Sunday, 14 October 2007


This week has seen substantial passerine migration, most notably of goldfinches but also of other finches, pipits and thrushes.
A welcome arrival to the rifle range has been a pair of Stonechats, and as the range usually hosts at least one pair each year I hope they will stay to brighten up the winter.

With their perky habit of seeking out high perches, their confident calls, and their invariable fidelity to each other they are a joy to see.

They spend so much time on rocks, fences and high twigs that it's hard to know when they actually eat - presumably they are not just looking out for danger, but also watching for passing bugs to eat.
Ringing recoveries have shown that British stonechats are 'partially migratory', with about half of them leaving the country. It would be interesting to know if pairs have been ringed and recovered, to prove that the male and female stay together over long distances.

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