With the start of August autumn truly begins for many of our summer and passage migrants. Take an early morning walk along a mature stretch of berry rich hedgerow and each day will yield different numbers and variety of species. Mornings of light drizzle after a clear night will often produce the greatest numbers as large numbers of nocturnal migrants will have used the clear, still night-time conditions before being grounded by the poor visibility of a pre-dawn front. Typical species to be encountered on these mornings will be blackcaps, garden warblers, whitethroats, chiffchaffs, willow warblers, redstarts and spotted flycatcher, however there is the potential of something scarcer with wrynecks and barred warblers being regular drift migrants from Scandinavia that get grounded under similar conditions brought to us by easterly airflows.
Along the Wye passage common sandpiper numbers will have peaked and gravel pit sites are likely to produce scarcer waders for the county such as dunlin, ringed plover, whimbrel, turnstone amongst others. Terns are passing around our coasts setting out on their migration to west Africa this month with many making overland trips that could drop them into a local gravel pit. The first teal usually put in their appearance in early August in their camouflaged eclipse plumage and by early September the first wigeon should make it to inland gravel pits.