Friday, 27 December 2013

The 26th was a beautiful day: clear skies and very low winds meant that some passerines could finally show themselves. A small selection of new arrivals dotted around the island included a Skylark on the Narrows, two Redwings along the track, three Song Thrushes at Ty Pellaf, 312 Starlings flying North over the West Side, and two Goldfinches at Ty Pellaf. A Water Rail was heard in Ty Pellaf Withy, and a Red-throated Diver flew South in the afternoon. Then came the night....

At about 1800 the wind started picking up from the South-east, and by midnight had approached a ridiculous strength; wind speeds were between 50 and 70 mph, gusting much higher in more exposed areas. The weather station opposite the island on the mainland recorded a gust of 109 mph, which is what it felt like!! And so, the 27th saw yet another stormy scene cast over the island. Huge waves were rolling in from the south west, and a large part of the coast was covered in sea foam! Birdlife was restricted to sea-going auks and gulls, with a total of 140 Kittiwakes passing by the West Side, along with 40 Razorbills. Waders were seeking shelter in many places, particularly on the east side of the South End. Totals amounted to 57 Oystercatchers, 11 Purple Sandpipers, 54 Curlews, 14 Redshanks and 16 Turnstones.

 Some of the larger waves crashing on the east side of the South End in the late afternoon
 Kittiwakes above very rough seas, with the West Side in the background
 Turnstones seeking shelter on the rocks on the South End
Choughs feeding on Solfach

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