Tuesday, 7 April 2009

7 April

The slow trickle of common migrants came close to total desiccation as another windy day dawned. Most of the warblers from the previous day had departed to be replaced by little more than two Blue Tits. A Jack Snipe was flushed from the wet fields and the Merlin remained on the South End. Just 28 Barn Swallows and a Sand Martin passed through during the course of the day.

6 April

A return of wind and rain to the island slowed the already-dawdling pace of spring passage further, but still a handful of migrants managed to make landfall. Warblers were represented by five Blackcaps, 18 Common Chiffchaffs and 15 Willow Warblers. A Blue Tit, a Merlin and a Common Kestrel were present, while four Black-headed Gulls were the best of the sea passage. 10 European Goldfinches were seen and a good count was made of 200 Linnets.

5 April

A small number of migrants arriving in the morning included 29 Willow Warblers, the first Common Grasshopper Warbler of the year and two Blackcaps. Four Sand Martins and 22 Barn Swallows passed over the island and six Mallards flew south at sea.

4 April

The first day of visitors at Cristin was again wanting for fresh migrants. A northbound movement of Great Cormorants was noted with a ‘skein’ of 11 passing overhead, followed by a further seven birds. Six Willow Warblers were present along with four Common Chiffchaffs, a White Wagtail, a Collared Dove, a Common Kestrel, a Song Thrush and two Northern Wheatears. Hirundine action was provided by two House Martins, two Sand Martins and 12 Barn Swallows.

3 April

A Couple of Blackcaps trapped early in the morning were the most exciting birds of a thoroughly underwhelming day’s birding. A Rook was again present, as were three Northern Wheatears, the Blue Tit from the previous day and a Jack Snipe— all in all a day of scant distraction from the task of preparing the obs for the first visitors of the season.

Jack Snipe (sitting after being released)  2 April 2009 © Richard Else

2 April

Two Greylag Geese flying south down the island was the most unusual sighting of the day, although there was some movement of commoner species as well. 

The first two House Martins of the year passed through along with at least 30 Barn Swallows, 18 Sand Martins, a Lesser Redpoll, a Water Rail, a Rook, ten Northern Wheatears, 160 Meadow Pipits, 25 Goldcrests and ten Common Chiffchaffs. Lingering from the previous day were two Merlins, two Reed Buntings and a Blue Tit

Blue Tit - Cristin 2 April 2009 - © Richard Else

1 April

Two Reed Buntings were present in the withies in the morning, and a light passage of warblers was underway with 20 Common Chiffchaffs, 12 Willow Warblers, a Blackcap and 28 Goldcrests. A Greater Canada Goose flew south over the Narrows, followed later in the morning by what may have been the same bird doing another circuit of the island. The first significant hirundine movement of the year took place with at least 30 Barn Swallows and 22 Sand Martins seen. Two Merlins were hunting around the lighthouse, a new Blue Tit was caught at Cristin and three Jack Snipe were again skulking in the marshy fields. The highlight of the day however came in the evening when a Lapland Bunting was seen briefly near the Narrows. In non-avian news, another new species of moth for the island, a Brindled Pug, was caught in the trap at Nant.

Brindled Pug trapped at Nant, 1 April 2009 © Richard Else

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