Misty and murky on the 12th with a few spots of rain and a brisk SE wind – the conditions you dream about on the island but with the exception of a couple of quality birds it was still a bit underwhelming out in the field; the main highlight was a cracking dark, male Honey Buzzard which flew south over Senness and then floated around the south of the island, often landing in the damp weather.
Other migrants across the island included the second Bluethroat of the spring with a female on Westbeach, a Stonechat (the first since 7th April), 2 Sparrowhawks, a Kestrel (only the second of the year), 9 Collared Doves, a Woodpigeon, a Short-eared Owl, 17 Sand Martins, a White Wagtail, 88 Wheatears, a Fieldfare, 4 Sedge Warblers and 5 Chiffchaffs.
Lingering wildfowl comprised the Whooper Swan, 2 Pink-footed Geese, a Barnacle Goose and 5 Red-breasted Mergansers while other little bits included a drake Garganey, a smart male Ruff coming into his finery and yet again, the Kumlien’s Gull.
Another great feeling day on the 13th with a brisk SE wind and increasingly overcast conditions finally giving in to the heavy rain which moved in by late afternoon but this time it paid off as a great selection of migrants were unearthed producing the best day of the spring so far! A female Red-backed Shrike was trapped in T5, yesterday’s Honey Buzzard flew south down the west coast before meeting the breeding Bonxies and Ravens and being forced out to sea very firmly from where it carried on south and away and 2 Bluethroats completed the highlights with females at Westbeach and Claypows.
Other migrants across the island included a pair of Garganey, a Sparrowhawk, a Wood Sandpiper south over the Obs, 4 Woodpigeons, 6 Collared Doves, a Cuckoo, a Tree Pipit, a White Wagtail, a Song Thrush, 2 Sedge Warblers, a suspicious unstreaked Acrocephalus Warbler which couldn’t be pinned down, a Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Whitethroats, 2 Garden Warblers, 2 Blackcap, 23 Chiffchaffs, 7 Willow Warblers, 2 Siskins and the first migrant Lepidoptera of the year with 2 Red Admirals and 3 Silver Y’s adding to the bubbling anticipation of the team!
Honey Buzzard Lewis Hooper
Bluethroat Lewis Hooper
Red-backed Shrike Simon Davies