Friday, 7 October 2016

3rd-4th October

A couple more days of almost constant wind and clear weather made for slim pickings on the birding side of things.
Sea-watches over the two days provided maximum highlight counts of 46 Sooty Shearwaters, 6 Manx Shearwaters and 13 Little Auk.
Our first real movement of Barnacle Geese came on the 4th with 153 being seen in various flocks throughout the day, the start of the Barnies has seen a stem in the flow of Pink-footed Geese, with 105 being our highest count for the period.
The female Long-tailed Duck was present again and remained for the two days, the 4th saw a build up in Wigeon and Teal numbers, with 270 and 282 being counted respectivly. The other obvious build up has been Thrush numbers, it's not quite as dramatic as in previous years but the trickles have turned into small gatherings peaking on the 4th, 7 Fieldfare, 37 Song Thrush and 47 Redwing being the highlights.
A trio of Merlins have been present both days as have a pair of Peregrines other birds of prey included 2 Short-eared Owls also on the 4th.
Wader movement has been a bit slow for our liking, but things could always be worse! 2 Curlew Sandpipers, 13 Jack Snipe, 6 Grey Plover and the ever present Grey Phalarope was still on Gretchen both days.
One of couple of surprises was a Little Egret seen briefly on the 4th flying North, with the bird being the 2nd island record it left a few of us gutted to not catch up with it, but that's how it goes! Another surprise and bird of the period was a lovely male Firecrest in Holland, only our 8th island record and offering a glimmer of hope for something a little better after a frustrating couple of days.
Other passerines news was usual fodder, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 6 Blackcap, 9 Chiffchaff, 1 Common Whitethroat, 2 Whinchat, a single Redstart and Tree Pipit, 20 Rock Pipit, 4 Brambling, 2 Robins, a Common Redpoll trapped on the 3rd and 11 Yellow-browed Warblers.
Last but not least a Bluethroat was found in the Quoy of Longar at lunchtime on the 3rd, it's our 6th this year and first of the autumn.
Bluethroat - George Gay

Firecrest - George Gay

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