Another lovely day on the 18th, very calm with varying cloud cover coming and going; the days two main highlights came early on with a GREAT WHITE EGRET found on Ancum Loch early morning (a real island mega - only the 4th island record!) closely followed by a cracking female Hawfinch caught in Holland House gardens – our overdue first for the year. The short list of other grounded migrants included 3 Woodpigeons, 2 Collared Doves, a Redwing, 9 Sedge Warblers, a Blackcap, 8 Chiffchaffs, 2 Willow Warblers, 7 Tree Sparrows and 2 Lesser Redpolls.
The selection of lonely wildfowl still lingered with the Whooper Swan, Barnacle Goose and Pink-footed Goose remaining, a Wood Sandpiper was on Garso, 4 Garganey were spread over the lochs, influxes of 18 Great Skuas and 14 Lesser Black-backed Gulls were noted at the top end and the Kumlien’s Gull remained.
Calm and sunny again first thing on the 19th but the southerly wind gradually picked up through the day to reach force 7 by the evening; there were again a nice list of scarcities across the island with the Great White Egret still on Ancum, a stunning female Nightjar trapped in Holland and a smart female Dotterel found in the afternoon on Torness – this seems to be the pattern so far this spring, a good spread of scarcities but very few common migrants (we still await our first Redstart, Whinchat, Pied Flycatcher and Grasshopper Warbler).
Other migrant totals on the land comprised a Woodpigeon, 3 Collared Doves, a Black Redstart around Holland, a Fieldfare, a Whitethroat, a Blackcap, 9 Chiffchaffs, a Goldfinch, a Siskin, a Common Redpoll and 6 Carrion Crows.
Wader totals included 196 Ringed Plovers, 3 Golden Plover, a Grey Plover, 95 Knot, 298 Sanderling, 90 Bar-tailed Godwits and 411 Turnstone while the pair of Garganey were still on Gretchen and the Kumlien’s Gull was still floating around.
Hawfinch Simon Davies
Nightjar Richard Yarnell