Although the weather out here has been lovely and warm, it is now that time of year again when things are moving south: it’s the beginning of the autumn migration season. Over the past few days we have had a few highlights including a Spotted Flycatcher, two juvenile Black Redstarts and two juvenile Cuckoos.
Both Black Redstarts was seen and then caught in the top heligoland trap. They were ringed and released, bearing their new identification tag whilst feeding up for the rest of its travels to warmer climes.
One cuckoo was up by the mainlight catching caterpillars on the walls of the gardens. With it being one of the larger migrants and similar size and shape to a raptor, the Terns and Gulls were not friendly towards this passing visitor! They began dive bombing and chasing it away, worried it might pose a threat to their young. It was later caught, ringed and released only to be attacked by Swallows and Rock Pipits that also mistook it for a bird of prey. Cuckoos are incredible birds, being raised by parents of other birds such as Reed Warblers and Meadow Pipits, they instinctively know to undertake the several thousand mile journey to Africa after they leave the nest. No one to show them the way. Just them against vast expanses of ocean and desert. Incredible!
So as the breeding birds are starting to dwindle the migrant birds are starting to move in. The island is constantly changing with the seasons and with every visit you will see something new and different.