Tuesday, 24 September 2013

A fantastic variety of common migrants and scarcities was seen during a beautiful clear, sunny day. The highlight of the day, however, did not come until late afternoon, as a small bank of mist began rolling in... 

Steve Stansfield's account of his superb find:

''The evening ended with something of a BOOM, when Emma and I went to collect mushrooms for tea. A small very peach pale bird landed on a gores bush in front of me and as it flew in across the field I could see a white rump, Red Breasted Fly??? No a chat type thing -  a tiny wheatear - Black-eared maybe...NO, it's a Stonechat...A Siberian Stonechat.....rattle off five grainy blurred shots and grab radio. News out, more photos, and here are a few......''

Pale throat and peachy underside can be seen well 

 Both  S. torquatus maurus and S. t. Stejnegeri very similar in appearance and can only really be separated non either breeding range or by using analysis of the birds DNA
The unstreaked pale peachy/white rump can be seen well in all these shots 
The jet black underwing coverts can bee seen in this shot - not a good photo, but a great clinching feature for this rare form

After the news was broadcast, and observers homed in on the site, the bird unfortunately disappeared over the reed bed. After a half-hour search, the chat was picked up again, back near Carreg Reed Bed. From this point on it showed extremely well, along the fence lines and gorse bushes, looking very much like a Desert Wheatear!

Having managed to avoid the potter traps, the bird suddenly became quite active, working its way up the green lane, and ending up on the mountainside above the observatory. Here it remained until at least 1830, showing amongst Common Stonechats. At one point, the chat almost managed to find its way into the Heligoland trap, but evaded further capture for further ID features.

To compare to female Stonechat!!

Now, as for the rest of the day...

A steady passage of over 270 Meadow Pipits throughout the morning led to at least three Lapland Buntings flying over, and a large pipit was also seen on Pen Cristin.
The ringed Wryneck remained along the fence line down Nant Valley, and a second bird was found above Ty Pellaf as people were searching for the large pipit!
The first Treecreeper of the year was found in Plantation, and was trapped midday, and the Common Rosefinch remained around here. Other slightly more notable migrants included two Common Redstarts, three Whinchats and a Ring Ouzel

Visible migration consisted largely of Meadow Pipits and Chaffinches, with 106 of the latter recorded in the morning. A good total of 33 Skylarks, 240 Swallows, 27 House Martins, 17 Grey Wagtails, 29 alba Wagtails was also logged during the day.

Passerine migrants on land was dominated, surprisingly, by Robins and Stonechats: 45 Robins and 39 Stonechats were recoded all over the island during the day. A small number of warblers scattered around the vegetated areas consisted of eight Whitethroats, eight Blackcaps, 28 Chiffchaffs, five Willow Warblers and 16 Goldcrests, whilst 18 Spotted Flycatchers were also seen.

Red-breasted Flycatcher from yesterday
Yesterday's Turtle Dove
Spotted Flycatcher
Grey Wagtail
The Common Rosefinch was still present today

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