Monday, 9 May 2011

9th May

The south-easterly wind persisted, in bright sunshine this time, and an excellent set of species was recorded during another varied day's birding. A first-summer Marsh Harrier spent much of the morning hunting around the island's lochs, and an Osprey passed overhead on its way northwards early in the afternoon. A drake Garganey and a Wood Sandpiper were on Hooking Loch, along with a bizarre female hybrid duck that, on preliminary investigations, appears to be a Mallard x Wood Duck cross! A flock of gulls at the north end of the island contained a first-summer Iceland Gull among the commoner species.

Numbers of waders continued to build up. The Sanderling count reached 333 birds, while a total of 1041 Turnstones is the highest ever count of the species here. The 2 Dotterels were still on Tor Ness and 15 Whimbrels and a Common Sandpiper were around the coast.

A good selection of passerines was again present, with migrant species including 14 Lesser Whitethroats, 6 Common Whitethroats, 4 Garden Warblers, 5 Blackcaps, 7 Sedge Warblers, 7 Chiffchaffs, 18 Willow Warblers, 2 Spotted Flycatchers, 8 Tree Pipits, 1 Common Redstart, 1 Whinchat, 2 Robins, 1 Dunnock, 1 White Wagtail, 2 Ring Ouzels, 4 Fieldfares and 13 Carrion Crows. There was plenty of hirundine movement too, with a Sand Martin and 3 House Martins noted with at least 158 Swallows.

Non-passerines included a Long-eared Owl still at Holland, 2 Sparrowhawks, 2 Kestrels, 2 Woodpigeons and a Collared Dove.

And finally, on a non-avian note, a conspicuous arrival of Red Admirals took place, with 87 counted around the island.

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