Thursday, 19 March 2015

17th to 19th March

Were now into census coverage, with half the island covered on rotation each day. As a result most of the lingering scarcities are reported more regularly with the Green-winged Teal, Tundra Bean Goose, 3 Greenland White-fronted Geese and 2 Pink-footed Geese noted on the first 2 dates. The juvenile Glaucous Gull was last noted 17th while a gorgeous sunny day on 18th unsurprisingly produced the most passerines. Counts for the day came to 4 Stonechats (4 also 17th and 2 females 19th), 27 Rock Pipits, 8 Song Thrushes, 31 Blackbirds, 28 Fieldfares, 31 Redwings, 58 Twite and 2 Linnets. There was also the first Kestrel of 2015, with Merlin, Peregrine and Hen Harrier also recorded. A couple of Woodcocks were seen 17th with presumably the same Black-tailed Godwit again 19th when it was good to see Black Guillemots ashore for the first time.

Purple Sandpiper (photo Stephen Rutt) 
Determining the exact number of birds recorded during the recent influx is proving difficult as individuals roam widely but 12-15 seems a reasonable estimate. This male caught and ringed at the Observatory early morning on 18th was only the fourth Stonechat to have been done so.

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