Freezing winds and wintery showers made census unpleasant, but thankfully there was some good birds about. There were a couple of firsts for the year on the 17th, with a nice adult Little Gull on Gretchen and 5 Manx Shearwaters seen during a seawatch on the north coast. Another seawatch at the same place the following day was very successful, with a White-billed Diver showing briefly on choppy seas. Also found on the 18th was an Iceland Gull at Nether Linnay, along with 14 Lesser Black-backed Gulls. A Wood Warbler was at Bewan, and 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Tree Pipits and a Spotted Flycatcher were sighted too. Wader numbers continue to rise, with 474 Turnstone, 141 Purple Sandpipers and 140 Dunlin counted on the 19th. Seawatching that day also provided high counts, with 254 Guillemot and 184 Puffins, along with 2 Common Scoters and 5 Manx Shearwaters. Migrants included 3 Chiffchaffs and singles of Collared Dove, Common Whitethroat, Blackcap, Spotted Flycatcher, Common Redstart and Lesser Redpoll. On all days the Corncrake was heard calling at Holland.
Iceland Gull (photo Euan Ferguson)
Common Redstart (photo George Gay)
Purple Sandpiper (photo Euan Ferguson)