Tuesday, 15 August 2017

13th and 14th August


A decent day on the 13th with lightish winds and a fair bit of sunshine poking through, especially in the afternoon; it proved to be a great day in the field despite much of the time being taken up with the continued Fulmar chick ringing around the island with the two standout highlights consisting of a fine adult Buff-breasted Sandpiper found feeding at the southern end of The Links, associating with Ringed Plovers and then Bar-tailed Godwits and the reappearance, yet again of the adult White-winged Black Tern up at Bewan – it looked very different to when it was here two weeks ago as it is now in full moult, so I guess there is a chance of it being a new bird?

Buff-breasted Sandpiper,   Simon Davies


                The other feature of the day was a good total of 57 Black-tailed Godwits, which included a flock of 42 which came in from the north along with counts of 5 Ruff, 32 Bar-tailed Godwits and 161 Turnstone.   Two juvenile Peregrines caused havoc across the island while 5 Wigeon, 5 Gadwall, 19 Teal and 10 Shoveler were noteworthy and offshore a Sooty Shearwater, 3 Manx Shearwaters and 120 Kittiwakes were seen.

                The wind had swung into the east on the 14th and with rain forecast, hopes were high for the first signs of autumn Passerine migration but even though the rain duly arrived at lunchtime, it proved to be a vain hope with wader passage again, pretty much the only signs of movement!   They were highlighted by an excellent total of 73 Black-tailed Godwits with several flocks heading south through the day while other good counts included 1,175 Golden Plover, 2 Ruff, 22 Bar-tailed Godwits and 3 Herons while the Buff-breasted Sandpiper still strutted around on The Links.

                Offshore today were 9 Manx Shearwaters, a Sooty Shearwater and 3 Storm Petrels (including one close in to Gretchen) with good numbers of southbound Great and Arctic Skuas lingering around the island.
White-winged Black Tern,   George Gay

The Water Rails around Ancum hide are unusually active and obvious with their chicks getting bigger,   Simon Davies

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