Wall to wall sunshine with a decreasing southerly wind on the 17th and with it tipped to be a good raptor day it was no real surprise that at least 2 Marsh Harriers were seen across the island with one seen heading high north towards Fair Isle and the other seen at several spots through the day. The day’s other highlight was the first Quail of the year which was seen flying past Holland towards the airstrip.
There were limited other new arrivals as migrant totals included a big pale, sandy 1st winter female Peregrine, 2 Woodpigeons, 5 Collared Doves, a Sand Martin, 2 House Martins, 2 Song Thrush, a lingering Redwing, single Whitethroat, Blackcap and Chiffchaff, 4 Willow Warblers, a Pied Flycatcher, only the second Jackdaw of the year and 3 Mealy Redpolls. A good arrival of 780+ Arctic Terns were mainly around the north end of the island while waders were still prominent with 180 Sanderling, 113 Purple Sandpipers, 60 Dunlin, a Whimbrel and 461 Turnstone counted.
The Raven fledglings were out exploring, photo Simon Davies
The 18th was another awesome day warm, sunny with light NE winds but all in all a quiet day for migrants as the only real new birds noted were a little influx of at least 7 singing Sedge Warblers in funny places and the first Reed Warbler of the year. Other counts included 2 Woodpigeons, a Sand Martin, 4 Chiffchaffs and 2 Pied Flycatchers while 3 Red-throated Divers and 9 Great-northern Divers were counted on calm seas.
Until another angry (d**k) Oystercatcher decided he was exploring too far and knocked him off the wall!