Monday, 17 August 2020


Prior to Saturday night I had logged just one nocmig Redshank, at 03:21 on May 22nd. A single, rather feeble call. In roughly four months of nocmigging, that was it. And then, in the early hours of Sunday morning, my second record. And third, and fourth, and fifth, and...

Between 02:42 and 04:30 there were eight separate Redshank 'events', varying from single calls to multiple affairs, and totalling 15 calls in all. Obviously I could not say for sure whether it was one bird or many, but judging by the similarity of the calls I suspect that one bird might have been responsible for the lot. If so, what was it up to? Flying around in great big loops for a couple of hours? Or landing somewhere in between stage appearances? Or perhaps I'm wrong about that, and it actually was several birds. Who knows? Whatever the case, it once again illustrates why I find nocmig so fascinating. It is just full of surprises!

This pair of calls at 02:53...

I get the impression that some nocmig locations get very busy as the volume of autumn passage gradually builds. If that is true of my little corner of Dorset I haven't seen any sign of it yet, and still get the occasional blank night. Mind you, a 90-millisecond 'tsip' at 22.32 last night appears to have been my second Spotted Flycatcher of the year, so I live in hope. Of course, the early-autumn Holy Grail is Ortolan Bunting, but if I ever get one of those I will give up chocolate for a month. Scratch that. Six months.

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