The recent blazing winds died away dramatically overnight leaving a very pleasant day on the 5th with a nice array of birds across the island without anything too amazing; landbirds included a Common Rosefinch trapped as it came in to roost at Holland, 4 Lapland Buntings, a good post-breeding count of 22 Reed Buntings, 8 Willow Warblers, 2 Garden Warblers, the first Lesser Whitethroat of the autumn, a Whitethroat, a Reed Warbler, 2 Whinchats and 3 Swifts. Commoner migrants included 60+ alba Wagtails, 487+ Meadow Pipits, 145 Swallows, 28 Sand Martins across the island.
Some good wader totals comprised the first juvenile Curlew Sandpiper of the autumn, 134 Ringed Plover, 1,110 Golden Plover, 137 Lapwing, 17 Knot, 113 Sanderling, 54 Dunlin, 6 Ruff, 19 Black-tailed Godwits, 23 Bar-tailed Godwits, 9 Whimbrel, 109 Redshank and 129 Turnstone. Other birds of note included the Marsh Harrier again which was seen to properly leave away to the south this time, 2 Sparrowhawks, a Kestrel, decent counts of 28 Mallard and 31 Wigeon and 9 Herons on the move.
The morning of the 6th saw a brisk southerly wind bring wave after wave of drizzle showers but by the afternoon the sun had come out to produce a lovely second half of the day; the main feature of the day was the arrival of some good waders with the definite highlight being the second LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER for the island seen and heard in flight over Mildam before landing briefly on The Links with some Bar-tailed Godwits, it soon flew off with the Godwits though and despite some intensive searching it was not seen again. Other decent waders included 3 Curlew Sandpipers, 2 Wood Sandpipers in off the sea at Trolla, 2 Green Sandpipers, a Grey Plover and an increase to 40+ Black-tailed Godwits.
Landbirds were thinly spread but did include the first flava Wagtail of the autumn (probably a Blue-headed), an increase to 7 Lapland Buntings, a Pied Flycatcher, a Whinchat, 4 Swifts, a Rock Pipit and 60+ Wheatears. Other bits and pieces included another influx of ducks with 37 Wigeon and 92 Teal and single Sparrowhawk and Merlin while offshore were 6 Sooty Shearwaters and 2 Red-throated Divers.
Photos Simon Davies