Saturday, 21 April 2018

20th and 21st April

Bright and sunny throughout the day on the 20th but the southerly wind gradually increased to become brisk by the evening; the day’s highlight was a very early Little Tern seen briefly in Nouster – continuing the theme of this slightly odd spring as the previous earliest record was 5th May!   More typical were the first 2 Whimbrel of the year which flew over Stennabreck.

                Other migrant totals included 2 Merlin, 2 Woodpigeon, a Collared Dove, 7 Swallows, 7 Rock Pipits, 2 White Wagtails, 43 Pied Wagtails, 13 Dunnocks, 24 Robins, 30 Wheatears, a Ring Ouzel, 60 Blackbirds, 41 Fieldfare, 4 Song Thrush, 4 Lesser Whitethroats, 4 Blackcap, 6 Chiffchaff, 4 Willow Warblers, 7 Goldcrest, 2 Chaffinches, 5 Bramblings, 3 Siskins, a Common Redpoll and the lingering Snow Bunting.

                Also of note were a single Manx Shearwater past the seawatch hide, one remaining Barnacle Goose, 10 Long-tailed Ducks, 11 Red-breasted Mergansers, 2 Arctic Skuas, 9 Great Skuas and the Kumlien’s Gull still.

                A gorgeous day on the 21st with a light southerly breeze swinging round into the SE by the evening and plenty of warm(ish) sunshine; there were some obvious new arrivals even though it was generally ‘too nice’ for many grounded migrants.   The highlights were two drake Mandarin which pitched down briefly on Hooking Loch (only the sixth record for the island!) and a still largely winter plumaged Dotterel which was found with the Golden Plover in Loch Park.

                The day’s migrant totals comprised single 3 Woodpigeon, a Collared Dove, 5 Sand Martins, 4 Swallows, 186 Meadow Pipits, 7 Dunnock, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 9 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrest, 3 Chaffinches, 2 Bramblings, a Siskin and a couple of roving Corvid flocks totalling 15 Carrion Crows and 5 Ravens.

Also seen were 10 Great-northern Divers offshore, the single Barnacle Goose and Whooper Swan, 267 Golden Plover, 174 Sanderling, 48 Dunlin, 2 Ruff, a Whimbrel and the Kumlien’s Gull yet again.

Mandarin                                              Simon Davies

Dotterel (honestly!)                                   Simon Davies

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