The 11th was a dreadful day with persistent rain pretty much all day, swept across the island by a biting, very cold NW wind! Census work carried on regardless though and in the difficult conditions a few highlights were unearthed with an adult Iceland Gull at Garso, the Northern Harrier still (hanging around Brides with a ringtail Hen Harrier – perhaps that’s why he’s lingering deep into this [alleged] spring!), a Lapland Bunting and the first signs of any Goose passage with 17 Pink-footed Geese seen coming in from the south.
Other counts worth mentioning included 2 Goldeneye still, 145 Purple Sandpipers and 206 Turnstone round the coast, a Woodpigeon, just 6 Wheatears, 31 Redwings and single Chiffchaff and Snow Bunting.
Tysties, photo Simon Davies
There were some good spells on sunshine the following day but the howling, cold NW wind still battered the island and with sheep punding taking place at many areas along the east coast the birding rewards were even sparser through the day! Birds of note included the Green-winged Teal remaining on Gretchen, the Northern Harrier floating past the Landrover at point blank range as we were waiting to start chasing sheep, 14 Wheatears, a Blackcap, a Rook and 6 Snow Buntings.
Green-winged Teal, photo Simon Davies
Hooded Crow, photo Simon Davies
Greylag Geese, photo Simon Davies