Wednesday, 17 April 2013

After strong winds and heavy drizzle materialised during the night, the year's first large 'fall' of migrants took place, centred on the South End where many were attracted to the lighthouse.
The highlights of the morning included the first Grasshopper Warbler, Sedge Warbler, two Common Redstarts and Arctic Tern of the year, which were all seen around the South End along with a Ring Ouzel. The largest numbers of Wheatears so far this year were recorded, with flocks of over 45 birds flying over fields and out to sea. The total number seen was estimated at 138. Almost all of these birds were now of the Greenland race.
Warbler numbers were represented in large numbers too: 27 Blackcaps, 150 Willow Warblers, 20 Chiffchaffs and 12 Goldcrests were seen, along with the year's first Whitethroat in Plas Withy. Overhead, six Sand Martins, seven House Martins and 17 Swallows were seen, although the strong southerly wind hindered much movement.

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 The first two Common Redstarts of the year were both stunning males. One was trapped at Cristin (lower (c) Steve Stansfield)
 The gale-force southerly winds obviously prevented much feeding from taking place, with very few insects on offer. Several Blackcaps in the Lighthouse compound were seen huddled together for warmth, presumably exhausted after their journey
 There were plenty of Willow Warblers around, although many moved through very quickly
Over 50 Manx Shearwaters passed the South Tip in the afternoon

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