Tuesday, 6 October 2015

5th October

Another hard day in the field for the team, but this time for all the right reasons as the south-east wind blew strong and brought plenty of birds to the isle. A Little Bunting on the rocks at Trinly in the morning was the highlight with this (or perhaps a second individual) not too far away at Upper Linnay late afternoon. Other highlights included the male Northern Harrier still, 2 Barred Warblers (Senness and Holland), another wave of 17 Yellow-browed Warblers and an obliging Long-eared Owl at the Lighthouse. There was the first significant arrival of Redwings with birds around the observatory and already leaving to the south from dawn with  392 counted, although other thrush totals were still relatively low coming to 4 Fieldfares, 2 Ring Ouzels and 11 Song Thrushes. Other birds grounded by the conditions included 2 Short-eared Owls, 5 Woodpigeons, 93 Skylarks (some of which headed out south with the Redwings), a Tree Pipit, 3 Grey Wagtails, 2 Robins, a Redstart, 42 Wheatears, a handful of other warblers including a Siberian Chiffchaff in Kirbest ditch, 20 Goldcrests, a Pied Flycatcher, Goldfinch, 8 Lapland Buntings and 605 Snow Buntings. Another wildfowl record was broken with the 375 Barnacle Geese recorded passing south in 6 flocks, just bettering the previous high. There were also another 12 Whooper Swans, just 23 Pink-0footed Geese today and 2 juvenile Hen Harriers included one which headed out south to sea from the Obs in the evening. A pretty exciting day, and if we can see through the rain - tomorrow could be even better...

Little Bunting (photo Espen Quinto-Ashman) 
Barnacle Geese (photo Mark Warren)

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