Sunday, 1 November 2015

29th October

Another day with plenty of birds with an even stronger south-east wind having picked up overnight which for the team was far from ideal given their planned trip to Papa Westray in the afternoon - risky business!!! There was still a strong effort in the morning though and from dawn it was clear that there had been a big arrival - especially of Blackbirds, with birds shooting out from behind every wall or rock on the west coast, and a total of 927 was recorded from the four hours we managed in the field. Other thrushes were still conspicuous too with 1525 Fieldfares (many newly arrived birds heading straight out south in large flocks), 56 Song Thrushes, 787 Redwings and 2 Ring Ouzels also counted. Just like yesterday, there were a lot of other migrants about with at least 2 Great Grey Shrikes present with an individual still at Holland and a new bird at Brigg (plus several sightings of perhaps a third individual nearby). Even more Owls were seen, with a minimum of 24 Short-eared Owls - again the majority on the shelterd west coasts and 4 Long-eared Owls while there were also 35 Woodcocks, 2 Jack Snipes and 5 Woodpigeons. Small passerines were tricky to find in the conditions again but noted were 2 Wheatears, 41 Robins, 6 Blackcaps, 8 Chiffchaffs, 13 Goldcrests, both the Pied and Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Chaffinch, 13 Bramblings and 8 Snow Buntings. Finally, the male Northern Harrier was agian ever present, plus at least one Hen Harrier and there were 19 Long-tailed Ducks and 2 Goldeneyes on the sea.

Great Grey Shrike (photo George Gay) 
Pied Flycatcher (photo George Gay)

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