Saturday, 24 October 2009

During foul weather early in the morning a number of thrushes were noticed to be sheltering around the lighthouse and in the adjacent gorse. This, and a handful of Redwing corpses at the foot of the tower, indicated that there had been an attraction late in the night, presumably when the rain had started. When the downpours subsided it became evident that a large quantity of birds was on the island, although the persistent ferocity of the wind made counting them far from easy. Nevertheless, a good effort was made and numbers of thrushes were reckoned to total 570 Redwings, 74 Song Thrushes, 65 Blackbirds and 25 Fieldfares. While most of this fall of thrushes was concentrated around the South End and the Withies, a mass arrival of finches numbering roughly 600 Chaffinches and 600 Greenfinches had descended upon Nant and the Plantation in boisterous, noisy swarms. A Rosefinch was heard to call from amid the circling throngs, but it disappeared amongst the masses of Greenfinches and unfortunately could not be located. Eight Woodcocks were found to be lurking around the island, including four that had clearly been attracted to the lighthouse, as well as the first four Jacksnipes of the autumn and nine Common Snipes. Four Lapwings were on the Narrows, and two Fulmars, a Manx Shearwater and a Mediterranean Gull flew past at sea. The Firecrest at Nant was still present, along with five Goldcrests, five Chiffchaffs, three Blackcaps three Reed Buntings, four Great Tits and a Blue Tit.

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