Monday, 8 June 2015

4th to 5th June

A busy few days (hence the lack of updates) with long days in the field, but there has certainly been some exciting birding. The Veery was re-trapped again at Holland gardens on the 4th though it remains elusive as ever and it would come as no surprise to see it re-found in several days time. Also of note that day were an Iceland Gull, 4 Woodpigeons, a Short-eared Owl, female Redstart, 5 Garden and 8 Willow Warblers, 8 Spotted Flycatchers and the male Lapland Bunting still. It was on the 5th that the magic of the northern isles was really seen with a strong easterly wind all day, heavy rain during the afternoon and a stunning evening proving the perfect formula for a fall of migrants. Spotted Flycatchers were prominent with 25 in all but it was the first spring record of Olive-backed Pipit (found at 9pm!!) creeping about in the grass at Gue Park which stole the show. Another 'first' concerned the first ever Hobby to be trapped and ringed, though that species is in itself about as rare as the OBP on the island. Other highlights were a male Red-backed Shrike at Brigg and a first-summer male Bluethroat trapped and ringed in the new west coast trap, which on examination of the photos was clearly different from the nearby singing male of two days previously. Other birds, mainly from the evening thrash about included a Kestrel, 18 Lesser black-backed Gulls, a Tree Pipit at the Mill, 31 Wheatears, a Song Thrush, a smattering of warblers which included 3 Lesser Whitethroats, 5 Garden and 6 Willow Warblers and 2 Siskins.

Olive-backed Pipit (photo George Gay)

Olive-backed Pipit (photo Molly Laban)
Hobby (photo Stephen Rutt)
Red-backed Shrike (photo Molly Laban)
Bluethroat (photo Stephen Rutt) 
Spotted Flycatcher (photo MW) 
Siskin (photo George Gay)

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