Wednesday, 24 April 2013

A wide spread grounding of common migrants took place in the drizzly conditions that settled over the island during the night. This became apparent in the morning when almost every bush on the island had either a Blackcap or a Willow Warbler in it! One or two slightly scarcer species found their way to the island, although generally the composition of migrants was rather lacking in diversity.
A Corncrake seen in the burnt gorse on the South End in the early hours was the highlight of the day, and shortly after being found the bird was trapped and ringed by means of drag-netting. This is the first record of this former breeding species since October 2011.
On the rest of the bird front, passerine-migrants were dominated by Blackcaps and Willow Warblers, with estimates of 226 Blackaps and over 440 Willow Warblers. The first Reed Warbler and Cuckoo of the year were recorded at Cristin and in The Withies respectively, whilst four Tree Pipits, seven Sedge Warblers, six Whitethroats, two Grasshopper Warblers and 43 Chiffchaffs were also seen.

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 This superb Corncrake gave fantastic views in the burnt gorse in the early hours, albeit by Corncrake standards! The bird was then trapped and ringed (top two), before being released at Cristin. It was seen an hour later in one of the net rides, before flying Northwards
 An fantastic total of 231 birds were ringed during the day, almost entirely made up of Blackcaps and Willow Warblers in the ratio 50:50. Amongst the more notable species trapped (aside the Corncrake), was the first Tree Pipit of the year (top) and a Sedge Warbler baring a French ring (lower)
 Blackcaps (top) and Willow Warblers (bottom) dominated in terms of the number
The first Cuckoo of the year was seen in the Withies in the late afternoon

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