A lovely sunny day on the 4th with the moderate wind swinging around in the westerly quadrant becoming very calm by the evening; there was a decent little arrival of new birds across the island with the 3 Sandwich Terns off Southness and later on Gretchen, the Jackdaw over Westness, the male Lapland Bunting at Southness and the male Siskin trapped in Holland all new for the year.
There was also a noticeable arrival of Thrushes with 215 Blackbirds, 102 Fieldfares, 43 Song Thrushes, 120 Redwings and 5 Mistle Thrushes spread across the island while other landbirds included 6 Woodcock, 2 Woodpigeons, 107 Skylarks, a White Wagtail, 34 Pied Wagtails, a Grey Wagtail (later trapped at Holland becoming only the seventh to be ringed on the island), a Dunnock, 74 Robins, a Stonechat, a Black Redstart, a Chiffchaff, a Rook, 6 Chaffinches, 35 Linnets, 17 Snow Buntings and 6 Reed Buntings.
Wildfowl counts comprised 709 Greylag Geese, the 3 Barnacle Geese, the Whooper Swan, 8 Shelduck, 174 Wigeon, 14 Pintail and 9 Shoveler while a 2cy Glaucous Gull flew south past Torness and 6 Black-tailed Godwits were on Gretchen.
The westerly winds became much stronger on the 5th bringing several heavy (but very localised) hail showers making it a bit uncomfortable out in the field; there was a corresponding dip in the number of birds seen through the day both because of the weather and a bit of a clear-out of yesterdays Thrushes as totals included a Merlin, 2 Woodcock, a Woodpigeon, 30 Meadow Pipits, a Grey Wagtail, 43 Robins, 118 Blackbirds, 59 Fieldfare, 17 Song Thrushes, 69 Redwing, 5 Mistle Thrushes, a Chiffchaff, 2 Jackdaws and 3 Chaffinches.
Lapland Bunting George Gay
Merlin Simon Davies