Sunday, 22 March 2009

22 March

The wind moving round to the north and beginning to strengthen slowed the flow of migrants, and most of the notable birds were lingerers from the previous few days. These included three Black Redstarts, ten Northern Wheatears, five Song Thrushes, eight Common Chiffchaffs, 12 Goldcrests, a Jack Snipe, two Common Snipe, two Sky Larks, 90 Meadow Pipits, a European Greenfinch, a Eurasian Siskin, and a Coal Tit.

 Jack Snipe - 22 March 2009 © Steven Stansfield

21 March

This was a comparatively quiet day, but a few migrants still arrived including 26 Northern Wheatears, two Jack Snipes, two Common Snipes, a Ringed Plover, four Song Thrushes, two Fieldfares, 28 Common Chiffchaffs and 21 Goldcrests were seen. The two Red-throated Divers and the Black-headed Gull still remained.

20 March

The first Blackcap of the year was found in the front garden of Cristin. A second Ring Ouzel, a Reed Bunting, 19 Northern Wheatears, a Sand Martin, a Black-headed Gull, 13 Common Chiffchaffs, 20 Goldcrests, two Red-throated Divers, 170 Meadow Pipits and 12 Pied Wagtails were also noted. A large part of the day was spent by most of the islanders rescuing a cow that had become deeply embedded in mud at Nant. After several hours of digging and pulling it was eventually returned to the rest of the herd.

Ring Ouzel at Cristin - 20 March 2009 © Steven Stansfield

 19 March

The highlights of another fine day were a drake Northern Pintail that flew in and landed on the sea near Carreg yr Honwy and a smart male Ring Ouzel on the mountain. The ouzel equalled the earliest ever record for the island. Other migrants included 17 Northern Wheatears, three Sand Martins, a Redwing, a Mistle Thrush, a Common Kestrel, a Merlin, 35 Goldcrests, 13 Common Chiffchaffs, five Eurasian Jackdaws, a Rook, a Blue Tit, 160 Meadow Pipits and the two Red-throated Divers. Two Small Tortoiseshells were the first butterflies of the year.

18 March

The good weather continued and a fantastic day’s birding was had. An immature Iceland Gull flew past the southern tip of the island, and just a few minutes later a Hoopoe was found on the South End. It stayed around the Narrows for a short while before heading north, not to be seen again. The first Willow Warbler of the year, and the earliest ever record of this species for the island, was found on Pen Cristin. The first Barn Swallow of the spring was also seen, along with 11 Sand Martins, 12 Northern Wheatears, five Black Redstarts, 13 Common Chiffchaffs, a Merlin, three Coal Tits, a Blue Tit, 280 Meadow Pipits, 2 Eurasian Jackdaws, a Rook, 12 Goldcrests, a Jack Snipe, a Common Scoter, the White Wagtail from the previous day and the two Red-throated Divers. Perhaps the best sighting of the day though, came in the late afternoon, when a pod of around 30 Bottlenose Dolphins was seen off the West Coast.

Iceland Gull - 18 March 2009 © Steven Stansfield

Hoopoe  - 18 March 2009 © Steven Stansfield

 Hoopoe -  18 March 2009 © Steven Stansfield

17 March

Another bright day with some good passage of migrants. The first Sand Martin and White Wagtail of the year were seen, along with four Black Redstarts, a Mistle Thrush, a Eurasian Collared Dove, 360 Meadow Pipits, a European Golden Plover, 19 Pied Wagtails, 50 Goldcrests, six Common Chiffchaffs, 6 Northern Wheatears, a Fieldfare, a Water Rail, a Jack Snipe, two Common Snipe and two Red-throated Divers.

Black Redstart - 17 March 2009 © Steve Stansfield

16 March

The first daily migration census of the year was undertaken in calm and sunny weather. A selection of migrants was present including 2 Red-throated Divers offshore, a Jack Snipe, a Water Rail, a Northern Wheatear, 50 Goldcrests, 5 Common Chiffchaffs, a Coal Tit, a Common Kestrel, a Fieldfare, 100 Meadow Pipits, a Dunlin, and 2 Eurasian Siskin. The first returning Manx Shearwater of the year was heard during the night.

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