Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Despite a much stronger south-easterly wind, a good number of common migrants arrived onto the island during the day, with many also passing through. The clear skies and chilly temperatures gave the morning an almost autumnal feel, which was amplified by the clear presence of visible migration over the Narrows and South End. This 'vis mig' consisted of three Sand Martins, 22 Swallows, 39 Meadow Pipits, one Grey Wagtail, seven White Wagtails, one Crossbill, one Siskin, 95 Goldfinches, 67 Linnets and four Lesser Redpolls.

A few slightly more noteworthy species were also seen during the day, one or two of which were new for the year: a Common Sandpiper in Solfach was the first of 2014; a very smart male Common Redstart was seen briefly at Nant; a Grasshopper Warbler was heard reeling away in Nant Withy; and the year's first Tree Pipit was seen somewhat belatedly above Nant. This has to be one of the very few years where Tree Pipit arrives later than Pied Flycatcher and Common Redstart!! Warbler numbers remained reasonable, with 49 Willow Warblers and 14 each of Blackcap and Chiffchaff logged.

As well as the passerine migrants, a good bit of seabird passage took place southward off the South Tip in the early hours, leading to totals of 316 Manx Shearwaters, one Red-throated Diver, six Fulmars, 29 Gannets, four Common Scoters, a Mediterranean Gull and three Common Gulls.

 This rather dingy Ringed Plover joined the breeding pair in Solfach. Its smaller size and darker brown colouring suggest that it may well be a passing 'Northern' Ringed Plover (C.h.psammadroma)

The very handsome male Redstart-the second of the year so far

Ringing activities during the day were hindered by the brisk south east wind, although the new Heligoland trap at the Observatory produced some 30 birds during the morning. In the later afternoon, the wind died down enough to open a handful of mist nets at Nant, resulting in the capture of 17 phylloscopus warblers
The catching box of the Heligoland, with Goldfinch, Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Willow Warblers all making an appearance
One of the Chiffchaffs trapped during the day
Lesser Redpoll
This particular Willow Warbler bore an interesting feature: the tenth primary had not been moulted, and so this abnormal 10th primary was much more worn than the other primaries and secondaries

1 comment:

  1. Great to see the birds so close and all well photographed.