Migrants at Morgan’s Hill

The misty mornings have started and autumn is setting in. This spells exciting times for any birders as the autumn migrations are starting, as our bird Recorder Nick Adams found out at Morgan’s Hill nature reserve this morning.

Morgan’s Hill nature reserve, near Calne, is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to its orchids, butterflies and the quality of the open chalk grassland. It is also, along with Cherhill Downs, at quite high elevation when compared to the surrounding landscape making it a good viewpoint for migrating birds. Weather also has an impact, with low cloud cover like today making the migrants more visible.

Among the many species recorded by Nick this morning were a tree pipit (Anthus trivialis) and a few yellow wagtails (Motacilla flava). Both are long-distance migrants, breeding across the UK and overwintering in sub-Saharan Africa.

Nick also spotted large numbers of swallows (Hirundo rustica) and house martins (Delichon urbicum) starting their migration down to warmer climes.

How can you get involved?

Head out early in the morning with your binoculars and a bird ID book and get spotting. Anything you see please record and let us know. You can either email records in to records@wiltshirewildlife.org or submit them to Living Record.

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