In spite of (and perhaps because of) the poor weather, The Autumn Herts 24-hr Garden Vismig Race on Sat 3rd October, proved a big success. Visible migration was observed from a number of Herts gardens throughout the day and highlights included a Merlin from a garden in Walkern , Golden Plovers over gardens in St Albans and Walkern, 17 Snipe and a Brambling over a garden in St Albans. Other migrants included Swallows, House Martins, Redwing, Fieldfare, Meadow Pipits, Siskins and Redpolls as well as notable movements of more common birds such as Chaffinches, Skylarks and Lapwing.
In the end three observers recorded the same highest count of 42 species from their gardens – Rupert Evershed in St Albans, Stuart Cossey in Walkern and Chris Ruis in St Albans. However, there can be only one mug winner and a decision was made to award the mug to the observer who recorded the rarest bird. The overall winner and proud recipient of The Mug is therefore Stuart Cossey who observed a Merlin from his Walkern garden. Congratulations Stuart!
A big thank you also to everyone who participated. Autumn visible migration is by no means over and
any one can continue to record their sightings on the GoogleSheet throughout October. This month usually sees a big increase in the movement of birds, in particular Redwing and Fieldfare arriving from the north but also flocks of more common birds such as Woodpigeons and finches. Eyes to the skies!