Promising conditions on the 8th with a lightish SE wind (although it had moved into the SW by the afternoon) produced a new wave of migrants across the island, giving us some overdue year ticks highlighted by a single Common Crane striding around the fields behind Vincoin but also including our first 2 Whitethroats and our first Sedge Warbler of the year. Other landbirds included a Sparrowhawk, 6 Woodpigeons, 2 Collared Doves, 17 Sand Martins, 35 Swallows, 2 House Martins, a White Wagtail, an influx of 140 Wheatears, 3 Blackcaps, 12 Chiffchaff, a Willow Warbler, a Goldcrest, 19 Carrion Crows, a Jackdaw, a Chaffinch and 10 Siskins.
Other little nits included the Black-throated Diver still in Nouster, lingering Whooper Swan, Pink-footed Goose and Pintail still, a single Ruff at Westness, 6 Whimbrel, the Kumlien’s Gull again and a total of 284 Arctic Terns.
The wind was more in the south through the 9th and again started light but picked up through the afternoon with heavy rain moving in; these conditions brought some more new arrivals with some quality migrants in amongst a general increase in common birds including a Corncrake flushed from the Irises at Westness, a very tired looking Cuckoo on the rocks at Gue Park and the first Garden Warbler of the year at the Obs.
Migrant totals through this very enjoyable day included a drake Garganey on Garso, a Sparrowhawk, 6 Woodpigeons, 5 Collared Doves, a Short-eared Owl, a House Martin, 3 White Wagtails, 2 Dunnocks, a Black Redstart, 96 Wheatears, 2 Fieldfares, 2 Sedge Warblers, 6 Blackcaps, 13 Chiffchaffs, 2 Willow Warblers, 6 Tree Sparrows, 11 Siskin, a Common Redpoll and 8 Carrion Crows.
Common Crane Simon Davies
Garganey George Gay
Sparrowhawk George Gay