Tuesday, 20 October 2015

19th October

In light-south westerlies most movement took place early on, and with the wind starting to increase later in the afternoon it looks like the recent calm spell is coming to an end and we'll be back to more traditional wet and windy October weather. The decent start led to another day dominated by the busy morning ringing session at Holland gardens and over 100 Redwings were trapped and ringed for the third day running. Their total of 609 is relatively conservative with at least 250 of these headed straight out south in the first hour of daylight. There were also 43 Blackbirds and 21 Fieldfares plus the Richard's Pipit still at Gretchen, 3 late Swallows, a Dunnock, 4 Robins, the Whinchat, 5 Wheatears, 7 Blackcaps, 3 Yellow-browed Warblers (which included new birds caught/ringed at the Obs and on the north links), 5 Chiffchaffs, only 23 Goldcrests (but many of these were thought to have been newly arrived), a Tree Sparrow, 2 Goldfinches, a Mealy Redpoll and 16 Snow Buntings recorded. The male Northern Harrier was seen early in the morning but it was the first Whimbrel for well over a month on the Links which was the main surprise of the day. A Long-eared Owl caught at Holland gardens at dusk was well admired and also of note were 7 Sooty Shearwaters, a feeding flock of 1000+ Gannets in Nouster Bay, 7 Pink-footed Geese, 7 Barnacle Geese, a ringtail Hen Harrier, 2 Kestrels and 3 Merlins, a Jack Snipe and 3 Woodcocks.

Long-eared Owl (photo Mark Warren)

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