With the wind still firmly in the east, expectations were still high on the 26th but the promised rain never arrived and it proved to be a stunning, warm, sunny day which, while lovely, did not equate to a great many grounded migrants. This, combined with reduced coverage led to a slower day in the field with the Greenish Warbler still present around the Obs, a Kestrel, 3 Short-eared Owls, 2 Whinchats, 56 Wheatears, a Garden Warbler, 13 Willow Warblers and 2 Grasshopper Warblers the migrants of note across the island.
Other birds included 3 Herons, a Merlin, 6 Ruff and 20 Sand Martins while a notable influx of butterflies which comprised at least 30 Red Admirals, 2 Painted Ladies and a Large White indicated a more southerly influence.
Short-eared Owl, photo George Gay
The wind did indeed move round into the south on the 27th and gradually picked up through the day which produced the first Barred Warbler of the year, skulking away in Holland Gardens but skilfully staying away from the nets and a juvenile Marsh Harrier which floated around Brides and Hooking before attempting to leave away to the south but bottled it and came back!
The Greenish Warbler was seen again first thing but disappeared for the rest of the day (a pattern its repeated over the last few days) while other birds included 8 Herons, 28 Black-tailed Godwits, a Sandwich Tern in Nouster in the evening (the first for over a month), 15 Arctic Terns lingering around Seal Skerry, a Short-eared Owl, a Kestrel, a Sparrowhawk, 2 Whinchats, a Tree Pipit, a Garden Warbler and 17 Willow Warblers.
Wheatear, photo Simon Davies
This Garden Warbler had a rough start to life by the state of its tail! photo Simon Davies