A really tough couple of days with gale force westerlies blasting the island; it seemed like we went straight from autumn into winter overnight on the 27th with none of yesterday’s rares or scarcities seen and a big reduction in Thrush and other migrant numbers, there was a trickle of birds passing offshore with a late Sooty Shearwater, 3 Blue Fulmars and a Puffin with a few Auks seen off Trinley while 4 Red-throated and 4 Great-northern Divers were on the sea. Wildfowl counts of note comprised 4 Whooper Swans, 6 Pintail, 287 Wigeon and 14 Gadwall.
The reduced number of land migrants included 2 Sparrowhawks, 10 Robins, a Wheatear, a Ring Ouzel, 30 Blackbirds, a Fieldfare, 3 Song Thrushes, 65 Redwing, a Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaffs, 7 Goldcrest, a Chaffinch, 13 Brambling, 2 Siskin and 31 Snow Buntings.
The blazing westerly wind brought with it regular, nasty showers on the 28th making things even more tricky out and about, it seemed there were even fewer birds around the island today but it could just have been a function of the nasty conditions; migrants did include a late Tree Pipit near Southness, a Sparrowhawk, 11 Robins, a Wheatear, 37 Blackbirds, 4 Song Thrushes, 49 Redwing, 2 Blackcap, 3 Chiffchaffs, 2 Chaffinch and 10 Snow Buntings. A few wader counts included 4 Grey Plover, 114 Sanderling, 46 Purple Sandpipers (plus five freshly raptor predated ones around Bridesness Point!), 2 Woodcock and a Black-tailed Godwit.
Siskin, Simon Davies
Don't you hate it when you get Redwing feathers stuck in your throat...