Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Migrant trickle on a wet and grey day

Wet Chiffchaff feeding in the rain today
A fresh easterly wind and total overcast with patches of light rain. Temperature did not go past 14C. The Sandwich Terns seem to have moved on and there has been an increase in Black-headed Gull numbers. Small migrants, some left-over winterers others moving north from Morocco, busily feeding in the rain: Black Redstarts, Meadow Pipits, Chiffchaffs.

A tired-looking Meadow Pipit at Europa Point today

Quite a difference from these wintering Chiffchaffs that I photographed at Christmas. These guys have learnt to extract nectar from the flowers of introduced South African Aloes. These flower at Christmas and the Chiffchaffs have learnt to associate the red flowers with food at a time when few insects are about. Since the Aloes were introduced in the 19th Century this is a fairly recent habit.

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