Although strong winds and torrential rain have continued into March, recently we've had some calm and sunny days, a sign winter is hopefully coming to an end. Early migrants are beginning to appear, with a Stonechat sighted near the Obs on the 10th and a Black Redstart at Bewan on 13th. There were counts of 88 Skylarks and 39 Snow Buntings on the 13th and 28 Fieldfares and 9 Pied Wagtails on the 14th. The Green-winged Teal was present on Gretchen on the 10th and 13th and several Hen Harriers, a Peregrine and a Short Eared Owl were seen too. Numbers of Black-headed Gulls and Oystercatchers have noticeably increased the past week with birds returning to the island to breed. Ringing-wise we’re continuing to make the most of the dark nights by dazzling waders, and on days with no wind we've been able to ring some Fulmars. A newly constructed duck trap on Gretchen has caught Fulmars and gulls but no ducks yet! The first Robin to be ringed this year was caught at Holland on the 14th amongst Redwings, Blackbirds and a Song Thrush.
Black Redstart (photo Euan Ferguson)
Green-winged Teal (photo Alison Duncan)