Wednesday, 3 October 2018

1st - 3rd October

The wind dropped off significantly by mid-morning on the 1st making it much nicer to be out in the field through the day; the most notable feature was some good Skua passage past the north end in the afternoon which included a juvenile Long-tailed Skua, 2 Pomarine Skuas, 24 Arctic Skuas and 6 Bonxies along with 9 blue Fulmars (with a steady flow of Fulmars), 8 Sooty Shearwaters and 2 Manx Shearwaters.   Other birds across the island included 5 Whooper Swans, 4 Kestrels, single Merlin and Peregrine, a Grey Plover, 71 Skylark, 12 Swallows, 21 Rock Pipits, 9 Wheatears, the over-summering Fieldfare still, 2 Redwings, a Willow Warbler, 8 Twite, a Common Redpoll (of northwestern origin), 3 Lapland Buntings and 6 Snow Buntings.

                The least said the better about the 2nd with absolutely blasting force 8-9 WNW winds and frequent, prolonged, vicious squalls rushing through; a flock of 13 Sooty Shearwaters past the seawatch hide were the only birds of note – although limited effort was made!

                Blessedly calm on the 3rd becoming almost flat calm for a time in the morning but persistent rain moved in by mid-afternoon; the days highlight was definitely the 2 BLYTH’S REED WARBLERS found in the morning – the first was found in a mist-net at Holland House first thing (it was very weak, was fed sugar water and released ASAP but was unfortunately found dead later in the day) while the second was a much more active bird in ditches and along walls around the surgery and Purtabreck.   There were actually few other new landbirds picked out through the day (its all to come as it filters down from further north!) but bits did include a Kestrel, 3 Merlins, 3 Peregrines, 2 Short-eared Owls, 6 Swallows, 12 Rock Pipits, 15 Wheatears, a Song Thrush, 8 Redwings, a Blackcap, a Common Redpoll, 3 Lapland Buntings, 5 Snow Buntings and 14 Reed Buntings.

                There was plenty of action offshore as well as totals included 1,700+ Fulmars (including 3 Blues), 9 Sooty Shearwaters, a Manx Shearwater, an excellent total of 7 Pomarine Skuas, 24 Arctic Skuas, 7 Bonxies, 2,000+ Kittiwakes, a Commic Tern, 12 Red-throated Divers, 10 Great-northern Divers, 2 Slavonian Grebes and the first Long-tailed Duck of the autumn.   Other birds also included 4 Herons, 7 Gadwall, 556 Golden Plover, a Grey Plover, a Jack Snipe and 287 Snipe.

Blyth's Reed Warbler #1               Simon Davies

Blyth's Reed Warbler #2                              George Gay

Lapland Bunting                                  Simon Davies

Greenland / Northwestern / Common Redpoll, whatever you want to call it

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