Tuesday, 28 April 2015

25th to 27th April

With westerly winds still dominating, sightings have understandably been limited but with winds from the opposite, more favourable direction forecast in a few days time there's some optimism in camp that we might at last see better numbers of migrants! A handful of familiar passerines were recorded on 25th but the 5 Common Scoter past Nouster that day and another 4 past Westness on 26th were the pick of observations from both days. From a reduced census effort on 26th came the first Arctic Skua with a Dunnock and 5 Snow Bunting of note. The 27th was a better day with a few surprises, most notably the first April record of a Sooty Shearwater, which flew west past the sea-watch hide during a hail storm induced half hour sea-watch just before midday! A regular sight between July and October there has been one other spring record from the isle on 26th May 1987 though this individual may have wintered in the north sea with sightings over the last month coming from 3 east coast observatories. Also at the north end, a record flock of 4 (all redhead) Goosanders came in off the sea at the hide before being seen on Ancum Loch a few hours later. A couple of Common Redpolls (Kirbest/Obs) were the best of the passerines with the lingering Black Redstart, 2 White Wagtails, a Rook and 2 Carrion Crows also seen. Waders are beginning to build with 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 6 Whimbrels and 292 Turnstones among the species logged plus 10 Great Northern Divers and 14 Red-breasted Mergansers were off the coast and 151 Kittiwakes passed during the brief sea-watch.

Common Redpoll (photo George Gay)
Sanderling (photo Molly Laban)

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