We kept the brisk S / SE winds on the 18th but it stayed dry and bright and it was generally very pleasant to be out and about; there was a nice array of migrants across the island as totals included 2 Sparrowhawks, 2 Merlin, a Woodcock, a Woodpigeon, 2 Collared Doves, 2 Tree Pipits, 18 Dunnocks, 36 Robins, a Black Redstart, 24 Wheatears, 2 Ring Ouzels, a Lesser Whitethroat, 6 Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler, 2 Chaffinches, 3 Bramblings, 3 Siskins, 108 Linnets and a corking adult male Common Redpoll trapped at Holland as it came into roost – it was a huge bird with wing of 79mm, weighing 17g, wonder what population that’s from!?
Other little bits included some decent wader counts including 221 Purple Sandpipers, 158 Turnstone and 161 Redshank (which included several big flocks heading high to the north), 9 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, the Kumlien’s Gull still and an increased 12 Sandwich Terns.
A gorgeous day on the 19th as the moderate southerly breeze first thing quickly dropped off to virtually still conditions by lunchtime; there was a general increase in migrants across the island with counts of 2 Woodpigeons, a Collared Dove, a Woodcock, the first Sand Martin of the year over The Links, 3 Swallows, 168 Meadow Pipits, 14 Dunnocks, 33 Robins, a Black Redstart, 31 Wheatears, a Ring Ouzel, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Blackcap, 11 Chiffchaffs, 7 Willow Warblers, a Goldcrest, a Chaffinch, 5 Brambling, a Siskin, a flyover Lapland Bunting and a lingering Snow Bunting.
A good array of other birds included a Black-throated Diver in Nouster with 5 Great-northern Divers, the single Whooper Swan showing no signs of leaving, 4 Long-tailed Ducks still, 6 Red-breasted Mergansers, a good count of 294 Golden Plover, 53 Sanderling, a single Knot, and a 3cy Iceland Gull lingering off the south end of the island.
Iceland Gull Simon Davies
Swallow Simon Davies