Tuesday, 3 May 2011

3rd May

A Wood Sandpiper and a Green Sandpiper flying over the observatory provided a good start to the day, and a Common Sandpiper later completed the trio. The belated first Arctic Tern of the year and the first Black Redstart since January were also notable new arrivals. There were a few more warblers around, including a Lesser Whitethroat, a new Sedge Warbler , a Grasshopper Warbler, 5 Blackcaps, 11 Chiffchaffs, 4 Willow Warblers and the Eastern Subalpine Warbler. The latter was heard calling several times, putting its racial identification beyond any real doubt. The Dotterel flock on Tor Ness had reduced to 3 birds, but Sanderlings, which had been growing in number for a while, increased to 203.

Counts of other species came to 2 Woodpigeons, 3 Collared Doves, 1 Swift, 3 Sand Martins, a passage of 52 Swallows, yet another new Dunnock, 2 Robins, the same Common Redstart, 83 Wheatears, 1 Ring Ouzel, 2 Rooks, 9 Carrion Crows, a Common Redpoll and 2 Lapland Buntings.

The Eastern Subalpine Warbler remained in Holland for its fifth day. According to the books, an important feature of Subalpine Warblers is the tail to wing ratio. In-hand examination showed that this bird had exactly one tail and two wings, giving a ratio of 0.5 – which is pretty much as expected.

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