15th - 17th April

15th started with an early morning whole island Black Guillemot census. We had been slightly worried how this species had fared over the harsh winter given the number of other dead seabirds we have seen washed up on beaches (mainly Shag and Cormorant), but we managed to produce a very respectable total of 1110, on par with the past three years which have all seen counts over 1000 birds posted. Other highlights from the day (and seen whilst counting Black Guillemot), include a Common Sandpiper (first of the year) at Brides, and a Common Scoter on the sea by Brides. There was a slight increase in Goose passage, with 13 Pink-Footed Goose noted in the fields below Peckhole, along with a further 17 just north of Ancum. A Sandwich Tern was seen flying over Nouster and a House Martin was once again present at the south end of the Links.

16th was a much quieter day, with just a few of the Pink-Footed Geese remaining. A small fall of Wheatear was noted in the afternoon after the rain had stopped and a few more Chiffchaff were present.

17th produced a Kestrel seen flying north over Hooking, and a dead Oystercatcher found in the camping field was subsequently found to be have been ringed in 2019 at Gretchen as an adult. Not the big rarity Maddy was hoping to be sent off back to uni for exams with, but a singing Willow Warbler in the camping field early evening was a fitting end to a day one could almost have called summer-like!

                                                                             Eider - GG