A very different day on the 8th with complete cloud cover but hardly a breath of wind and mist coming in late afternoon; the favourable conditions naturally led to an increase in common migrants and despite nothing too amazing being found its starting to feel exciting when you get out into the field. Totals included a Sparrowhawk, a Merlin, 2 Woodcock, 3 Woodpigeons, a Short-eared Owl, 103 Skylarks, 118 Meadow Pipits, 16 Rock Pipits, a Grey Wagtail, 2 White Wagtails, 33 Pied Wagtails, 54 Robins, a Black Redstart, 4 Wheatears, an increase in Thrushes to 174 Blackbirds, 125 Fieldfares, 17 Song Thrush and 88 Redwings, 3 Chiffchaff, a Goldcrest, 20 Hooded Crows (the first migrant flocks of the spring were noted), 4 Chaffinches, a big jump to 94 Linnets and 3 Snow Buntings.
Elsewhere, the main feature on the calm seas were excellent numbers of Divers offshore with a summer plumaged Black-throated Diver off the north end, 7 Red-throated Divers and a year’s high count of 58 Great-northern Divers. Also, of note were the 3 Barnacle Geese, the Whooper Swan, the Kumlien’s Gull again and a new 3cy Iceland Gull which flew past the seawatch hide.
A similar day on the 9th with more cloud and light easterly winds but the morning was marred by some persistent spitting rain; there were inevitable increases in common migrants through the day including 2 Merlins, a Peregrine, 2 Woodcock, 3 Woodpigeon, a big increase to 275+ Meadow Pipits, a Grey Wagtail, 20 Rock Pipits, 4 Dunnocks, 60 Robins, 2 Mistle Thrushes, 7 Wheatears, 3 Chiffchaffs, 9 Chaffinches, 3 Bramblings and presumably the same male Lapland Bunting from a few days ago, relocated to Hooking.
A different, non-breeding Black-throated Diver was in Nouster with still good numbers of other Divers, the unprecedented winter Ruff flock increased again to 7 birds in a field below Holland and a Bonxie was off the south end as were 2 Sandwich Terns.
Great-northern Diver Simon Davies
Barnacle Geese Simon Davies
Just look away........