A lovely start to the day on the 28th, warm and sunny with light easterly winds but inevitably the fog rolled in mid-morning and continued to drift in and out through the rest of the afternoon – although there were some good sunny spells thrown in. The day’s highlight was certainly a cracking BEE-EATER, seen flying south over The Links before eventually being ‘pinned down’ at Holland House allowing everyone to get good views as it hunted and swooped around the garden – only the fourth record for the island, although the last bird in 2015 lingered for a long period.
Other highlights through the day included a Red-necked Phalarope which circled the Obs several times before pitching down on Gretchen but soon disappearing, our first Reed Warbler of the year trapped at Holland and the lingering Hawfinch still bombing around the gardens. A sprinkling of landbirds across the island comprised 2 Woodpigeons, a Collared Dove, a House Martin, a littoralis Rock Pipit, a Black Redstart, single Lesser Whitethroat and Whitethroat, 2 Garden Warblers, 7 Chiffchaffs, 3 Willow Warblers and a Redpoll sp.
Also present were the tardy Pink-footed Goose, 3 Garganey, a Red-breasted Merganser and a selection of waders, although numbers are predictably starting to dwindle now with 109 Ringed Plovers, 142 Sanderling, 36 Bar-tailed Godwits, a Whimbrel and 2 Black-tailed Godwits counted.
The reverse conditions on the 29th with a very foggy start to the day before steadily clearing later on but becoming foggy again by the evening all wafted in by a light easterly breeze; a good selection of highlights included the Bee-eater still lingering around Holland (at one stage perching on the top of the mist nets!), a cracking almost full summer-plumaged White-billed Diver which appeared in Nouster before drifting back out and becoming lost in the fog, a redhead Goosander also in Nouster (only just annual on the island) and the Hawfinch still.
A few new landbirds made appearances as well with totals comprising a Tree Pipit, a Redwing, a Garden Warbler, 3 Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler, a Spotted Flycatcher and 2 Common Redpolls while 3 Purple Sandpipers, a Whimbrel and 2 Black-tailed Godwits remained.
Bee-eater Simon Davies