Tuesday, 3 April 2018

2nd and 3rd April

Nice again on the 2nd with bright sunshine but a cold NE breeze giving the day an edge; there was little new found through the day with the highlight on the land being a very smart looking littoralis Rock Pipit which appeared in front of the window as we were sitting down to eat at Lurand and at sea, the first Great Skua of the year off Seal Skerry.    Migrant totals included 4 Woodcock, a Woodpigeon, 109 Skylark, 36 Meadow Pipits, 19 Rock Pipits, 37 Pied Wagtails, 2 Grey Wagtails, 2 Dunnock, 87 Robins, a female Stonechat at Brides, the wintering Black Redstart, 170 Blackbirds, 106 Fieldfare, 4 Mistle Thrush, a Chiffchaff, 3 Chaffinches and 3 Snow Buntings.

                Wildfowl totals comprised 9 Great-northern Divers, 5 Red-throated Divers, 132 Wigeon, 7 Gadwall, 66 Teal, 10 Pintail, 6 Shoveler, 27 Tufted Duck, 19 Long-tailed Ducks and 7 Red-breasted Mergansers while 168 Golden Plover, a Grey Plover, 2 Ruff, 30 Bar-tailed Godwits, 4 Black-tailed Godwits and the Kumlien’s Gull were counted.

                A step backwards towards winter on the 3rd with a biting NE wind bringing frequent and heavy snow and hail showers across the island; a Woodlark seen briefly at Sandar was a bit of a surprise but it couldn’t be re-found after the initial couple of sightings (following one last month, the ninth for the island!).

                Perhaps unsurprisingly there weren’t really any new birds unearthed in the unpleasant conditions – a big female Peregrine flew over Ancum and a Jack Snipe was flushed from the centre of the island while 5 Woodcock, a Grey Wagtail, yesterday’s Stonechat, 2 Mistle Thrushes, a Brambling and a Carrion Crow were also of note.

Black Redstart

Drumming snipe are beginning to echo across the island

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