Friday, 4 May 2018

2nd and 3rd May

Rain overnight on the 2nd led to a showery morning and a bright and sunny afternoon; it was still fairly quiet as migrants included a Sparrowhawk, a Merlin, a Woodcock, a Woodpigeon, a Collared Dove, 16 Sand Martins, 17 Swallows, a Dunnock, 41 Wheatears, single Fieldfare, Redwing and Mistle Thrush, 2 Blackcaps, 5 Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler, 2 Goldcrests, the first 3 Tree Sparrows of the year (there were none last year!) and a mobile Lapland Bunting at Kirbest and the near the school.

                Waders included 231 Sanderling, 42 Bar-tailed Godwits, a Ruff and 7 Whimbrel while offshore birds included 19 Great-northern Divers, a single Manx Shearwater past the seawatch hide and an increased 31 Arctic Terns.

                A drizzly morning on the 3rd eased off through the middle of the day but the rain returned for the afternoon giving us only a small window to enjoy the day; the main feature was a little arrival of waders spread across the island which included the first Wood Sandpiper of the year at Garso, the first 2 Common Sandpipers of the year at Hooking and Garso, 50 Knot, 215 Purple Sandpipers, a very respectable 86 Bar-tailed Godwits and a much improved 577 Turnstone.   Also associated with this was an influx of 625 Black-headed Gulls (with flocks offshore) and 9 Lesser Black-backed Gulls while the Kumlien’s Gull remained.

                Wildfowl included the single Whooper Swan and Pink-footed Goose while an increased 15 Shelduck was notable.   Landbirds were limited with 22 Swallows, a Redwing, a Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff and 7 Carrion Crows.

Kumlien's Gull - the top picture was taken in February and the bottom picture was taken on 3rd May showing how the plumage, especially the primary tips have faded over the spring

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