Meadow Pipit
photo: thanks to Phil Slade (Another Bird Blog)

Saturday March 20th 2021 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria.
Watch 0630 to 1130hrs - Wind: SW 2-3 mph, 7c, 0.mm rain, 75% Cloud, 1032mb pressure.

Gone back to a light passage. Another nice Geese skein. Sitting Lapwing making a "way-wook" 2 syllabel call very repetitive.

Meadow Pipit: 40 nw (1x5 then mainly singles odd, 2s and 3s.) first 0714hrs.
Alba Wagtail: 2 nw (1,1)
Chaffinch: 18 (2 s, 13se, 1w, 2nw)
Starling: 1e at 0716.
Curlew: 2 n
Pink Footed Goose: 50 nw at 0747hrs
Greylag Goose: 2 se at 0646hrs. 

Friday March 19th 2021 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria.
Watch 0630 to 1230hrs - Wind: North 7-13mph, 7c, 0.mm rain, 65% cloud, 1030mb pressure. 

A far better day today we a steady trickle of birds throughout the watch. Also had my first Whooper Swans, and a large party of Pink Footed Goose, and also a nice party of Redwing.  The Blackbird made another guest appearance with impersonations of the Lapwing call. First Mipit at 0646 and then 0708 for most of the count the majority of Mipits flew below 30ft, some were almost touching the ground then coming up to hop over the hedge. 

Meadow Pipit: 153 nw (Best parties 1x12,2x8,2x7,2x6,5x5,1x4,5x3 +2s and 1s.
Chaffinch: 9 (8 se and 1 nw)
Linnet: 31 nw (8,1,4,7,3,1,7)
Reed Bunting: 1 nw
Skylark: 1 nw
Alba Wagtail: 8 nw (1,2,1,1,1,1,1.)
Starling: 4 e at 0652.
Redwing: 19 n/nw
Whooper Swan: 11 w/nw at 0922hrs
Pink Footed Goose: 100 w at 1220hrs

Other notes or records:
Lots of Common Scoter on the move at night.
Lots of Whoopers moved off Lincolnshire coast this morning heading NW

Thursday March 18th 2021 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria.
Watch 0630 to 1030hrs - Wind: NNE 2mph, 5c (felt more like 1c much colder than the past few days, 0.mm rain, 94% to 75% variant cloud level. 1033mb pressure.

Yet again another quiet one, thats the trouble with high pressure it might be OK for drying and sunshine but plays havoc with bird numbers especially during early migration. Yet thankfully other stories took hold.  Next to me a male Blackbird came and alighted right at the very top of the tree and starting singing away, just like a Song Thrush would with variant calls, perhaps not just has clear or sharp or refined as a Song Thrush but nevertheless it was still good, but what made my ears prick up it did a fine rendition of the Lapwing call (only part call) but sure enough clear as clear on that particular song.  I can only think it is picking it up from the nearby fields which have Lapwings calling most of the time.  I have never heard anything like this before in all my time birding. 

Also there has been a pair of male Chaffinches fighting now for about 3 days, I am surprised there is a feather left on either of them after their frolocking mid air tumbles, fighting high as well (not quite high like a Skylark), but certainly at 50ft and then a directly tumble downward whilst locked together, interesting they are sustaining a perfect plumage!

Meadow Pipit: 24 nw (2,2,1,6,2,1,2,2,3,3.) first bird 0650hrs
Chaffinch: 3 se (1,2) first bird 0629hrs.
Linnet: 26 nw (4,10,12)
Skylark: 10 nw (2,3,4,1.)
Alba Wagtail: 1 nw

Wednesday March 17th 2021 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria. 
Wind: NNE 3-5mph, 3c, 0.0mm rain, 100% cloud dropping to 30%, 1034mb pressure. 0630hrs to 1030hrs.

Quiet sort of morning, a little better from 0930hrs on, but never really got going

Meadow Pipit: 31 nw (2,1,2,1,1,1,1,3,1,5,2,1,5,1,3,1) first bird 0636hrs
Linnet: 16 nw (4,12)
Chaffinch: 17 se
Alba Wagtail: 2 nw (1,1)
Skylark: 4 (1w 3nw)
Starling: 74 (70 e and 4 n)
Fieldfare: 1 e

Locals, Curlew, Lapwing, Oystercatcher, Song Thrush, GSWoodpecker, Green Woodpecker, LBBG, Woodpigeon, Blackbirds, Dunnocks etc.

also I did another check from 1430hrs to 1530hrs, very different to late check yesterday.  Today NO birds whatsoever.....

Tuesday March 16th 2021, Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria.
Wind: W 7-15mph 7c, 0.8mm rain at start, and finished by 0700hrs, 100% cloud but 50% and blue skies by 0930hrs. 1024mb pressure.  Mist came in to perimeters for 75% of watch until about 0930hrs which by then cleared. 

I thought it was going to be great today with starting numbers of Mipits a 8 and a 4 party, but this was just purely a starter because I never got any further Mipits for at least one hour, but as the mist thinned out the birds started trickling through. 

Meadow Pipit: 30 nw (1,8,4,1,1,2,1,2,1,2,1,6.) first bird 0711 and very high
Linnet: 30 nw (13,7,10)
Chaffinch: 6 (3se and 3nw)
Alba Wagtail: 6 (4se and 2nw)
Curlew: 13 se (one party)
Brent Goose: 2 nw (and low)

Also a short count 1430hrs to 1530hrs
Meadow Pipit: 21 nw (1,2,1,1,4,1,1,2,2,2,2,2,1)
Alba Wagtail: 1nw
Linnet: 23nw (11,7,5)
Chaffinch: 6nw (4,2)

Yesterdays notes at other areas:
Steady stream of Mipits heading North over Carnforth Marsh. Eg: 80 in half hour at 1000hrs (Nick Godden - LDBWS)
Good numbers of Mipits along the Lune between Aldcliffe and Conder Green (Barrie Cooper - LDBWS)

Monday March 15th 2021, Vicarage Ln, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria.
Wind: NW 5-9mph, 3c, 0.mm rain, 24% cloud, 1018mb pressure. 0630hrs to 1000hrs.

It started off OK today with obvious movement especially with the Mipits and the Linnets. Also the alba's have started... Its just the start so only trickles as yet, but will get going now.  "What a beautiful morning welcoming the Mipits back"

Meadow Pipit: 20 (19nw and 1n) (2,3,2,1,3,1,3,2,1,1.)
Linnet: 33nw (12,6,11,4.)
Chaffinch: 8se (1,2,1,2,1,1)
Alba Wagtail: 7nw (2,2,2,1)
Skylark: 1nw
Goose: 1w at 0657hrs

Locals: Lapwing 2 (paired), Curlews, Song Thrush and lots of Dunnocks in the hedgerows.

Sunday March 14th 2021, Vicarage Ln, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria.
Wind: WNW 10-26mph, 3c, 0.mm rain, 48% Cloud, 1008mb pressure. 0630hrs to 0815hrs. Very overcast throughout - winds more like 10-12mph.

Another rediculously quiet morning with just a scattering. But I have had reports from lads in Yorkshire and Manchester and they were getting Mipits in the tune of 50 over 3 hours averaging, so obviously things have started.

Linnet: 8nw (0735)
Meadow Pipit: 1nw
Chaffinch: 1se
Canada Goose: 3 se at (0733)
Lots of paired Woodpigeon and LBBG passing overhead.
Local: Lapwings, Mallard pair, Curlews 4 thought to be local. 

Saturday 13th March 2021, Vicarage Ln, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria. 
North West 15-28mph, 4c, 0.2mm rain, 100% Cloud, 987mb pressure.
0645hrs to 0815hrs. Occasional light rain off and on throughout, winds probably 12mph.

Even after the rest for the last few days allowing the heavy rains and strong winds to abate, it wasn't much better for the count this morning, but its got to start happening any day now and the coming week looks more interesting. I did have one or two bits and pieces listed below:

Linnet: 20nw (single party)
Chaffinch: 5 (3nw,2w)
Meadow Pipit: 2 nw
Starling: 12e (0658hrs)
Skylark: 4nw (one party - calling)
Alba Wagtail: 1nw
Collard Dove: 5se (one party)
Cormorant: 2s

Others regarded as local breeders:
Oystercatchers 2, Lapwings 2, Curlew 1.

Tuesday 9th March 2021, Vicarage Ln, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria.
South 7-15mph, 4c, 0.2mm rain, 100% cloud, 1018mb pressure. 0700hrs to 0800hrs. occasional slight drizzle or damp air. 

Absolutely nothing with the passerines, not a single Chaffinch or Mipit. The only movers today were a small group of Starlings just after first light. I think that might be it now for a couple of days!! (stormy weather approaching...)

Starling 9e (at 0648hrs) unsure whether ex roost or on move (probably latter)
Curlew: 1 local and calling
a few pigeons on the move and LBBG's.

Calling, Song Thrush and Green Woodpecker. 

Monday 8th March 2021, Vicarage Ln, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria
SW 8-16mph, 4c, 0.8mm rain, 100% cloud, 1022mb pressure. 0700hrs to 0730hrs then abandoned through Fog and heavy rain

Fogged out with vis down to about 50 yards, then continual heavy rain and obviously no birds.  Abandoned watch after 30 minutes (0730hrs), will hopefully try again later in the morning. 

Checked out again at 1030hrs, status moved to light rain/drizzle, but visibility still down to 50/75 yards.  Watched for 30 mins up to 1100hrs but still no birds. 

Sunday 7th March 2021, Vicarage Ln, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria
N/NE 1-2 mph, 1c, 0.mm rain, 95% cloud, 1026mb pressure 0715 - 0815hrs

Another coolish day, but again no wind and little in the way of birds. The only really interesting record today was a party of 7 Curlew in a tight formation heading to the SE.

Chaffinch: 3 (2se and 1nw)
Woodpigeon: 16 (6se, 14w)
Curlew: 7 se (one group calling tight formation)

Large numbers of Meadow Pipits moving Portland, Weymouth etc.
1000 Chaffinch on the move in Kent. 

Saturday 6th March 2021, Vicarage Ln, Burton In Kendal, Cumbria
SE 1-2mph, 1c, 0.mm rain, 95% cloud, 1036mb pressure. 0700hrs - 0930hrs

A coolish morning and so still with little movement eg: no Linnets and little in the way of Chaffinch.  Two skeins of Geese, but the jewel in the crown has to be the  start and first movement of the Meadow Pipits which went  either West (unusual) or North West (usual). 

Meadow Pipit: 8 (7w/sw in one group), 1nw (all from 0915 on)
Chaffinch: 3se
Skylark: 34 se (2,26,6)
Curlew: 2n
Woodpigeon: 9 (8se and 1nw)
Geese: 50 n (20n at 0730hrs and 30n at 0745hrs) (came up from coast SW and heading n) too far away for id.
Lots of LBBGulls heading mainly NW but some SE

Local was Lapwing (1) on territory, GSWoodpecker drumming, Song Thrush singing out of Lancelot, Oystercatcher (1) on territory

It's always worth checking:

Friday 5th March 2021, Vicarage Ln, Burton In Kendal.
NE 6-10mph, 2c 0730hrs to 0845hrs.

Still nothing happening with the Mipits with none recorded today although this will drastically change over the next week or so, But yet a very nice 30 plus Skylarks and the Chaffinch have started up today plus other bits and pieces.

Skylark: 34 (30nw one party, plus 4se)
Chaffinch: 31 (27se and 4nw)
Mistle Thrush: 4s
Linnet: 69 (presumed 25 to nw on move but all others local eg: 10,15,7,12)
Woodpigeon: 6 se (4,2)

Song Thrush in full song Lancelot, Green Woodpecker yaffling from Dalton hamlet area, LAPWING 3 on territory dive bombing one another, Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming nearby. 

Lapwing: there always has to be 3 with 2 dive bombing their spoils, with deep fluty "begger offs" she's mine is miss pretty....

Thursday 4th March 2021, Vicarage Ln, Burton In Kendal 

0800hrs to 0845hrs
Linnet 30 (20 one party to NW others perhaps local
Skylark one party 15 to NW
Curlew: 3 (1NW and 2 SE)
Chaffinch: 4 NW

also a Song Thrush singing in LCS but doing a Curlew imitation, also Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming.  Still no Mipits going through here, although told by friends they are going through to the North in East Lancs.

Monday 15th February 2021 - Vic Lane Burton

0900hrs Tree Sparrow singing in Electric Sub-Station
0940hrs 3 Cormorant to South/SW

Friday 12th February 2021 - Holme and Slape Lane Burton

0815hrs single group of 150 Lapwing to E
from Holme and heading over towards Farleton Fell

Thursday 11th February 2021 - Slape Lane or Vicarage Lane

1100hrs group of 5 LAPWING to SE
1300hrs group of 4 LAPWING to E

It is very difficult to establish whether these birds were on a cold weather movement or are they just returning birds to their upland territories which usually happens at this time of year?

If you want to check some old records for comparisons please click over any of the following links:-

Probably my favourite experience of all during 2020 was:

My recent contribution to a local rag:
Currently enjoying vismig (visible bird migration) from over on Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal, from first light each morning between September and November. I just missed by a few days getting this next report in last month’s rag.
If only you had witnessed the 4017 Meadow Pipits that came over on Thursday September 24th, with parties (some over 100) on each side of the lane at the same time and this went on solid from 0655hrs, and by 0845hrs I had already counted no less than 3,200 birds, with the other 800 birds crossing over in the rain before I called it a do by 1300hrs. Just think they were coming through that thick and fast you hardly had chance to write them all down, and it felt pure excitement whipping your head from one side to the other to catch more and more parties coming through from both sides. It really is something special to witness this, and they were low which made you feel they were almost within touching distance. You do not get it like this every year it was just one of those special moments when you can say you were in the right place at the right time and all atmospheric conditions were approved etc etc etc….
A little more recent on Wed Oct 14th turned out to be the main Thrush arrivals when I had nearly 13,000 birds between 0715hrs and 1400hrs, the bulk of the birds were Fieldfares (7,086) and Redwing (5721) all going in a North West direction heading to what appeared to be the distant slope of Farleton Knott. I had single mega parties of 530 birds, 2x400, 1x360 and another 40 parties of numbers between 100 and 300. It was so busy the birds “peppered” the skies and it could be difficult at times to be able to determine their sizes of which were the larger Fieldfare against the smaller Redwing. Little “chacking” going on and not much of that “see-iping” but they moved through with stealth and grace and what a site for sore eyes! I tried to give thought to how many miles these birds would have travelled in the past 48 hours to get here. Most will have come across from Scandinavia, with some from much further afield and they would have had to time their crossing of the North Sea so they met with the least resistance. Some enter the UK from more northerly directions like Hartlepool and the North East whilst the majority chose their entry from down in Lincolnshire and Norfolk to afford them the shortest crossings.
This year in particular I feel sorry for these birds having travelled so far hoping to experience trees with multitudes of berries at their disposal. Though that’s not how it is! The cupboard is bare I’m afraid! In fact it is probably the worst year I have ever known for the hawthorn berries of which this area is usually so well known. From what I understand it’s been a bad year all round, the beech mast is not that good either and the Chaffinch and Brambling visitors will also find it hard, mind you last year was so special with the mast it was what you call a every 5 yearly “Mast Year”. Damsons have not done well either. Hopefully there will be plenty of apples.
This year I feel like the Chaffinch have deserted us good and proper! Well at least the migrants, I have hardly had any in comparison to recent past years. Yet I am still getting plenty of the little cheeky fellows the Linnets which on most days I get at least 200 passing through with odd days to the 600 mark.
First thing I usually get large numbers of Starlings at around 0750hrs, with numbers sometimes in their thousands, all heading East out to Kirkby, Whittington etc to do a day’s foraging. They are the same birds which would earlier have been cuddled up together on the stalks of phragmites reeds whilst they roosted over at Leighton Moss or Silverdale Moss. I also like having a stroll up Vicarage Lane at around 5pm when you see them coming back and if you are lucky there will be several thousand’s heading through.