Another good-looking day on the 25th with spitting rain through until mid-morning driven across the island by the brisk SE wind; there was a steady arrival of new passerines with bits and pieces trickling in throughout the day, the highlights being our first Red-breasted Flycatcher of the year at the south end of The Links, a Bluethroat at Southness, a Common Rosefinch at the top end and 4 Yellow-browed Warblers. Other migrant totals included 2 Robins, 2 Redstarts, 2 Whinchats, 65 Wheatears, 5 Song Thrushes, 2 Redwing, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Garden Warbler, 4 Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaffs, 6 Willow Warblers, 2 Goldcrest, 2 Spotted Flycatchers, a Pied Flycatcher, 4 Chaffinch, 2 Brambling, 2 Common Redpolls, 2 Lapland Buntings and 3 Snow Buntings.
Six Red-throated Divers, a Great-northern Diver, a single Manx Shearwater and our first 2 Red-breasted Mergansers of the autumn were offshore while an influx of 415 Great Black-backed Gulls and a few big, dark, ugly argentatus Herring Gulls was noteworthy. Two Kestrels were also present along with a Grey Plover, a Little Stint, 2 Curlew Sandpipers, a Jack Snipe with 225 Snipe and 30 Black-tailed Godwits.
Red-breasted Flycatcher, Simon Davies
The SE wind continued to blaze across the island on the 26th with spells of mist and murk coming and going but with it staying largely dry it was an awesome day in the field with plenty of new arrivals including some quality birds thrown in. It started well with a BLYTH’S REED WARBLER trapped at Holland, closely followed by an ‘Eastern’ Lesser Whitethroat (presumably a blythi bird – to be confirmed either way later on I hope!) and then the day’s highlight of a cracking SIBERIAN STONECHAT found along the northern edge of the airstrip which showed well for a short time before disappearing.
The supporting cast of a/the Olive-backed Pipit near Holland, a Richard’s Pipit around Ancum (first of the year), a Red-breasted Flycatcher at Garso, the Bluethroat again at Southness, a Little Bunting at Rue, an Ortolan Bunting at Gretchen and 10 Yellow-browed Warblers made for a fantastic day.
The long list of other migrants included 2 Woodpigeons, a Short-eared Owl, 2 Grey Wagtails, a Dunnock, 8 Robins, 5 Redstarts, a Whinchat, 69 Wheatears, 33 Song Thrushes, 34 Redwings, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Garden Warbler, 9 Blackcap, 8 Chiffchaffs, 9 Willow Warblers, 6 Goldcrests, 4 Spotted Flycatchers, 7 Chaffinches, 7 Bramblings and 3 Snow Buntings. Other little bits of note included 9 Herons, 3 Red-breasted Mergansers, 2 Kestrels, a Wood Sandpiper briefly at Gretchen, a late Arctic Tern, 400 Linnets coming into roost and a bit of an influx of 20 Red Admirals – autumn has kicked off in style now!!
Blyth's Reed Warbler, Simon Davies
Siberian Stonechat, Simon Davies