Saturday, September 24, 2022

Hulda fantastic migration

Gosh, just noticed for how long I have neglected my blog! That's not for lack of birding, still out every day. I lacked significant highlights and also in recent weeks haven't had much mood for photography. In any case, this morning I went to Hulda Reservoir, five minutes from my house. It's a Saturday morning tradition, usually with Piki, this time alone as Piki is away surveying Sooty Falcons or something. So I had the reservoir all to my self. I arrived very early, a Eurasian Nightjar was foraging over the track driving in. As I stepped out of the car and got prepared for the walk, so many birds were up in the air, calling, either ending a night of migration or returning from a roost. The dawn sky was full of calls - wagtails, pipits, buntings. As soon as there was enough light I noticed that Willow Warblers were everywhere, shrikes perched in all directions, Whinchats flycatching, hirundine clouds - it was whopping with birds!

At the moment water level at the reservoir is very low. Land exposed by the receding water is covered with lush vegetation, supplying migrants with food. 

Most prominent migrants were Willow Warblers - there were hundreds, maybe more, very hard to estimate how many. They were mobile, some moving with me as I walked around the reservoir. Their density was very high - at some sections, with every step I took 10-15 warblers flew up. I love Willow Warblers.

I really enjoyed the birding zen this morning. I find it great fun to work through common migrants, and search for stuff. Among the warblers I had Wood and Rueppell's. Among the many marsh terns hawking over the water I had a Black Tern. First Red-throated Pipit for me this autumn, calling among many Tree Pipits. Citrine Wagtail among the clouds of yellows. Wheatears in the field. Harriers went through. Levant Sparrowhawks as well. 

Lesser Græy Shrike

European Roller

eBird checklist here - one of the best I ever did at Hulda.

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