Strong southerly winds increased the numbers of early spring migrants, with the 28th seeing the year's highest counts so far of Skylark (117) Meadow Pipit (94) and Pied Wagtail (47). 3 White Wagtails were also seen. The first Rook of the year was sighted on the 25th, the first Woodpigeons on the 26th, and the first Kittiwakes on the 27th. A few Goldcrests were around the Obs, a couple of which were trapped and ringed. The Smew has been present every day and on the 25th was seen at the same time as a second bird on the coast by Bewan. Presuming our regular Smew is the same one first seen in late October last year, this other bird is the 5th record for the island. We were close to renaming the new duck trap on Gretchen the “gull trap”, thanks to its success in catching Black-headed Gulls, but a duck was finally caught in the form of a Wigeon, only the 11th ever ringed.
Goldcrest (photo Carmen Azahara)
Shelduck (photo George Gay)
Twite (photo George Gay)
Starlings (photo George Gay)