Saturday, 29 April 2017

27th and 28th April

The strong, cold northerly wind was still a feature through the morning of the 27th but this gradually eased down through the day to become very pleasant by the evening; new birds were again at a premium with 133 Redshank the only species that showed some turnover including a couple of noisy flocks seen heading high to the north at dusk.   The pair of Garganey were still present while the other highlights were 5 Lapland Buntings and 7 Snow Buntings which included some awesome looking males.

                Other migrant totals of note comprised a Merlin, 2 Whimbrel, a Swallow, 83 Wheatears, 15 Redwings and single Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest and Brambling.   An hour’s seawatch was also noteworthy with some good totals seen passing the hide with 714 Kittiwakes, 120 Guillemots, 106 Puffins and 359 Auk sp. counted.

Who shall I eat next?  photo Simon Davies

                A completely different day on the 28th saw the merest breath of a northerly wind gradually swing round to the east by the afternoon coupled with plenty of unbroken sunshine meant that it was a joy to be out in field for once!   There were a few new birds to mention with the first Ruff of the year on Ancum, a Black Redstart at the lighthouse, Siskin and Willow Warbler at Holland and at least 4 Barnacle Geese floating around.

                A bit of visible migration in the fine conditions included a Merlin heading high to the north along with a trickle of Herring Gulls drifting over extremely high up; waders also showed some increases with counts of 167 Oystercatchers, 57 Sanderling, 176 Purple Sandpipers, 7 Black-tailed Godwits and 456 Turnstone.   Other migrant totals consisted of 9 Great-northern Divers, another Merlin, 3 Swallows, a White Wagtail, 42 Wheatears (a bit of a clearout of birds in the fine weather), single Song Thrush, Blackcap and Rook, 2 Chiffchaffs, 3 Lapland Buntings and 6 Snow Buntings.
Stunner of a Snow Bunting,  photo Simon Davies

Garganey,  photo Simon Davies

Turnstone are looking pretty smart now,  photo Simon Davies 

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