Still windy on the 6th with showers sweeping through; time spent in the field was limited with most of the highlights coming from a morning seawatch which comprised the first Velvet Scoter of the year, 416 Fulmars, 9 Sooty Shearwaters, a Little Auk, a Puffin and 345 large Auk sp. while the sea also produced 3 Red-throated Divers, 3 Great-northern Divers and 5 Risso’s Dolphins. The limited sightings on the land included 2 Robins, 12 Fieldfares and 36 Redwings.
A surprising day on the 7th, as after some light rain had moved through first thing it was a great day in the field, with much lighter winds than the forecast had promised; the main feature of the day was a good arrival of 104+ Woodcock (not all the island was covered) while other birds on the land in the calm weather included a Jack Snipe, 2 Hen Harriers, 2 Peregrines (including a new ‘Arctic’ type male), 34 Skylarks, 39 Meadow Pipits, 30 Rock Pipits, 10 Robins, 55 Blackbirds, 24 Fieldfares, 4 Song Thrushes, 68 Redwings, 3 Blackcaps, 4 Chiffchaffs, 3 Chaffinches, 2 Bramblings, a ‘Northwestern’ type Common Redpoll and 36 Snow Buntings.
We took advantage of the surprise good weather and did an impromptu, semi-organised wader count round the coast at high tide where most noteworthy was an excellent total of 804 Purple Sandpipers along with 589 Turnstone, 170 Redshank, 106 Curlew, 12 Bar-tailed Godwits and a single Knot. Also feeding in the surf round the shore were good numbers of Gulls with 496 Common Gulls, 19 Black-headed Gulls and 174 Herring Gulls.
Wildfowl totals included 365 Wigeon, 21 Gadwall, the Green-winged Teal, 315 Teal, 48 Mallard, 3 Pintail, 12 Shoveler, 235 Eider, 10 Long-tailed Ducks and 8 Red-breasted Mergansers while 7 Heron stalked around the edges.
Arctic Peregrine, Bryony Baker
Common Redpoll, Simon Davies
Woodcock, Simon Davies
Blackcap on the Beacon, Simon Davies