Thursday, 21 May 2015

18th to 20th May

Migrants remain few and far between but the wardening teams efforts have been rewarded with some quality rarities in their place. The rarest bird of the year so far was a Woodchat Shrike seen briefly on roadside fences near the Ancum Willows on 19th before disappearing. Just the third island record of this southern species it hasn't yet been relocated although the poor weather has hampered census since then, so there is still some hope it may be re-found. Much more obliging was the smart male Rustic Bunting, found in almost exactly the same place at the Ancum pump station the next afternoon. Always a pleasure to see and the third in five years (all males in spring), it showed well to the assembled crowd before disappearing by evening. Most of the other sightings came from the 18th when there was a good tally of locally scarce birds with the first-summer Marsh Harrier, Black-throated Diver, pair of Garganey, Iceland Gull and Short-eared Owl all seen again. There was also a drake Common Scoter in Nouster Bay on that date, relocating to Linklet by 20th when a first-summer Little Gull was seen, a Sparrowhawk, single Cuckoo's on 18th and 19th and 2 Common Redpolls from 19th to 20th.

Rustic Bunting (photo George Gay)
Rustic Bunting (2 photo's by Stephen Rutt)  
Common Scoter (photo Stephen Rutt)


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