A cracking day on the 30th with the light wind enough north of east to keep the fog away and plenty of warm sunshine; it was a brilliant day in the field with a great cast of scarcities spread across the island, a stunning adult ROSE-COLOURED STARLING striding around with the sheep in the north of the island was the pick of the new arrivals but the supporting birds included a singing Quail at Brides, the Goosander off The Links, the first 2 Curlew Sandpipers of the year on Trolla, the Bee-eater again showing well around Holland, a lovely male Grey-headed Wagtail near the lighthouse, 3 Marsh Warblers scattered around the island, a female Red-backed Shrike caught in Holland and the Hawfinch again.
It was also one of the better days of the spring for common migrants as totals included 5 Collared Doves, 2 Tree Pipits, the first 2 Redstarts of the year, a Fieldfare, a Garden Warbler, 10 Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler, 2 Spotted Flycatchers and 7 Pied Flycatchers. Four Garganey were also seen along with 5 Purple Sandpipers, 9 Black-tailed Godwits and 2 Whimbrel.
A similar day on the 31st but the anticipated fog rolled in rapidly from mid-afternoon; it was quieter for new arrivals but the Rose-coloured Starling was still roving around the middle of the island, a Little Ringed Plover was briefly at Bewan before being seen flying high south over the Obs – only the third record for the island after the second last month, the lighthouse Marsh Warbler was still present, a new Red-backed Shrike was caught at Holland and the Hawfinch was again around the Kirkyard.
Other birds across the island included 2 Garganey, the redhead Goosander again, a Merlin at the lighthouse, 4 Purple Sandpipers, influxes of 75 Knot and 65 Bar-tailed Godwits, 3 Redstarts, the lingering Fieldfare, 5 Garden Warblers, 8 Chiffchaffs, 3 Willow Warblers, a Spotted Flycatcher and 3 Pied Flycatchers.
Perhaps the most impressive feature of the day was the continued influx of Silver Y’s and Diamond Back Moths which literally carpeted every field – there must have been thousands involved! Associated with these were small numbers of Red Admirals, Painted Ladies and Large Whites while the highlight was a Clouded Yellow seen flying across the airfield (not sure on the status on the island?).
Rose-coloured Starling Simon Davies
Grey-headed Wagtail Simon Davies
Curlew Sandpiper and Dunlin Simon Davies