Friday, 18 March 2011

15th - 18th March

The 15th was very uneventful and provided little worth reporting: three Pink-footed Geese and three White-fronted Geese were still mingling with the Greylags and another Pied Wagtail was the only new passerine. The first Dunnock of the year at Twingness was the highlight of the 16th, with two Song Thrushes also arriving near the Observatory.

A distinct improvement was noted on the 17th, when the simultaneous arrival of a variety of new birds signalled that spring migration was finally getting under way. A Mistle Thrush, a Chaffinch and a Sparrowhawk were all new species for the year, as were at least 2 Whimbrels that turned up in the afternoon. Passerine migrants included a new Dunnock, a Robin, 3 Song Thrushes and 4 Pied Wagtails; and a few Skylarks made there way north during the morning. Two Woodcocks, the first for about a month, were found; an influx of Black-headed Gulls to the colonies reached 141 birds; the Golden Plover flock increased to 125; and 28 Snipe were seen - the highest count of a very poor couple of months for this species.

New birds for the year on the 18th were a female Siskin and a Kestrel. A scattering of thrushes included 2 Fieldfares, 2 Song Thrushes and about 10 newly arrived Blackbirds; two Robins near the lighthouse and three Chaffinches at Holland were also new; 6 Pied Wagtails were seen and the Dunnock was still at Twingness.

In the absence of any other decent shots this week, a Fulmar will have to do. A ubiquitous species on the island, large numbers of these birds can currently be seen all around the coastline.

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