Bright and sunny again on the 17th with a brisk SW wind so there was little change in the islands birdlife with the highlights comprising long staying birds which included the Hen Harrier, the Kestrel, 7 Ruff in a field near Holland, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, the Short-eared Owl showing well on The Links, 8 Swifts overhead, a Black Redstart and a Willow Warbler.
All change on the 18th with blazing force 7-8 westerly winds blasting across the island bringing heavy showers throughout, coverage was understandably reduced with the only notable birds being at the top end as 7 Sooty Shearwaters and 8 Manx Shearwaters went through and a trickle of waders and Lesser Black-backed Gulls came in off the sea from the north.
All change yet again on the 19th with a glorious contrast to the blazing winds as we were bathed in sunshine and enjoying almost flat calm conditions; on the land, the Common Nightingale reappeared in a mist net at Holland while a Common Crossbill flew south (only the second of the year) with the young Song Thrush, 2 Black Redstarts, 8 Sedge Warblers and 5 Willow Warblers also seen. One of the day’s highlights was fantastic views of at least four well grown juvenile Water Rails at Ancum – great to see proof of breeding which is suspected every year.
Nine Black-tailed Godwits, 22 Knot and 6 Ruff were the pick of the waders while little influxes of 34 Teal and 20 Mallard were noted along with the now regular Hen Harrier, Kestrel and Merlin. Offshore 2 Red-throated Divers, 2 Sooty Shearwaters, 3 Manx Shearwaters and some Porpoise were noted.
Juvenile Water Rail Simon Davies
Short-eared Owl Simon Davies