While I love this blog, I now pretty much only write on my other two blogs: BirdingBlogs.com and 10,000 Birds - I would love to see you there!

Monday, 29 September 2008

Late Autumn migration over the Alps

last week we went out to the Sattelberg, a gorgeous mountain overlooking the Brenner Pass, and split between Austrian and Italian territory. The mission was to try count birds migrating South over the ridge line.

We knew we were unlikely to see too many birds migrating through so late in the season, and the birds that were migrating were - I suppose - more likely to have gone straight up the Wipptal and over the Brenner Pass than to head all the way up and over the mountain top. At any rate, we braved the snow and winds to see what we could see.

As it turns out, we saw a good number of juvenile House Martins (Mehlschwalben) flying about (rather unusual for Tirol) but they all seemed to be heading North. Maybe we should have provided them with a map.

Also interesting was the large numbers of pipts moving through. They were unusually shy and quickly moved on. It looked like they were migrating in a boulder-to-boulder manner (rather than the rapid, directed flights that come to mind when we think of migration). The only species we were able to positively identify was the water pipit (Bergpiper), but we suspect there were a good few more about.

The only raptors we saw was one young Hobby Falcon (Baumfalke) which circled and flew directly over us, and a Common Buzzard (Mäusebussard).

View of Sattelberg from Gries am Brenner

Although we did not see too much, it was a lovely day to be out in the mountains. The Tirolean mountains really have something special to them.
A peace.
A wonder.
It is always special to be in them...

Happy birding

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