The 13th was the kind of spring (or indeed autumn) day that you pray for, being misty and murky with drizzle and fog drifting in and out on a brisk easterly wind; it started off pretty well with a smart female Bluethroat along the Obs track but although there was a nice array of migrants across the island through the day this proved to be the highlight!
Other migrants including the first 3 Pied Flycatchers of the year, 3 Sparrowhawks, a Kestrel, a Greenshank, a Short-eared Owl, a female Yellow Wagtail (probably a flava), 6 White Wagtails, single Redstart and Whinchat, 65 Wheatears, a Ring Ouzel, a Stonechat (unusual this late in the spring), a single lingering Redwing, a Sedge Warbler, 3 Lesser Whitethroats, 4 Whitethroats, a Blackcap, 10 Chiffchaffs, 8 Willow Warblers, 3 Spotted Flycatchers and 3 Siskins.
Pied Flycatcher, photo Simon Davies
The following day was also heaving with potential as we kept the light easterly breeze and some spells of murk and drizzle before the wind swung round to the SW producing a gorgeous sunny afternoon; two more Bluethroats were again the highlight with a singing male at Sangar and another male at the old Kirk in the afternoon which was later trapped.
There was a general increase in migrant numbers across the island as totals included 2 Sparrowhawks, 2 Kestrels, 3 Short-eared Owls, 4 Tree Pipits, a steady passage of 120 Swallows and 6 House Martins, 3 Robins, a Black Redstart, 3 Redstarts, a Whinchat, 80 Wheatears, 2 Ring Ouzels, the Redwing still, 2 Sedge Warblers, 9 Lesser Whitethroats, 4 Whitethroats, 9 Blackcaps, 12 Chiffchaff, 16 Willow Warblers, 8 Spotted Flycatchers, a Pied Flycatcher, 2 lingering Brambling, 4 Siskin, 2 Mealy Redpolls, the Stonechat still and 2 Goldfinches while a notable Corvid passage of 36 Carrion Crows, 20 Hooded Crows and a few hybrids made all the breeding waders very nervous.
Waders were still obvious, scattered all round the coast including a year’s high count of 237 Ringed Plovers, 3 Great-northern Divers were offshore, the drake Garganey was still on Hooking and last but not least the Red-winged Blackbird remained faithful to her Garso gas bottles.
Bluethroat, photo Simon Davies
Female Bluethroat, photo Simon Davies
Spotted Flycatcher, photo Simon Davies