“The Stats” (8pm on 28th)

This Week: Totals vs last week vs same week 2020
Total No. of Species  66  ↓8  ↑ 1
Total No. of Birds  5,269  ↓ 4,9,46  ↑ 1,993


To September 28th 2021 vs 2020
Total No. of Species  83  ↑ 6
Total No. of Birds  27,308  ↑ 8,823


Autumn creeps on and with prevailing south to westerly wind flows the last week has felt cooler and damper.  From Monday the breeze picked up and

the low-pressure systems moving across the UK from the west brought heavier rain showers.  A quieter week vismig-wise with 67 species recorded from participating Herts gardens and watchers unsurprisingly perhaps choosing not to spend as much time in their gardens.

Despite the lower numbers of birds recorded overall this week there was still evidence of movement with some good birds in the mix. Meadow Pipit passage continued apace with 258 counted with a peak count of 184 mainly southwards on 26th.  A single Hobby and Yellow Wagtail were recorded and Pied and Grey Wagtails continue to be on the move.  Chaffinch numbers continued to build while Swallow and House Martin numbers began to tail-off with just 64 and 46 recorded respectively.

Of note were Jays on the move with 85 recorded over the week and two gardens recording Siskins – the first for the autumn period.  Skylarks also made their first appearance with 4 recorded over a Gaddesden Row garden.  It is likely that more of these will feature in the coming weeks.  A single Teal was also noted from Shafford Farm.

Highlights included the second garden Osprey – an adult bird seen soaring over a St Albans garden on 24th and 20 Golden Plover flew over the same garden on 26th.  Although not recorded from a participant’s garden, an adult Gannet was seen over a Herts garden on 25th – a bird that has, surprisingly, been recorded in Herts in 9 of the last 10 years. With winds picking up and another Gannet visiting Hilfield Park Reservoir the next day this is certainly a bird to look out for.

In the gardens Chiffchaff numbers are down but they are still being recorded daily.  Blackcaps are undoubtedly still present too but only 2 records this week.  Song Thrushes continue to be elusive with just 5 records so far this month.  They will no doubt make more of an appearance as the autumn wears on.

Looking ahead, the weather is mixed with the winds set to remain from a south-westerly direction.  Geese and wildfowl are likely as are Golden Plover, Lapwing and Common Snipe.  The first Fieldfare and Redwing must be imminent and hopefully too greater numbers of Siskin and with them the first Redpolls.  Hawfinch and Crossbill remain highly hoped-for too…

This weekend: The Herts 48-hr Garden Autumn Watch!

This weekend, of course, sees the Herts 48-hr Garden Autumn Watch and hopefully the weather will be kind, keeping observers dry while sending some interesting birds their way.  There are bonus points and prizes to be won and of course, banter to be had on Twitter (use #hertsgardenvismig) as what is seen or not seen is shared!  As always, spend as little or as much time as you want in the garden and see what you can see. (No Top Tip this week – we don’t want to give all the secrets away before the weekend!)

Just for the weekend, there’s a dedicated Herts 48-hr Garden Autumn Watch Googlesheet

All sightings can continue to be added on the usual Googlesheet too.