Thursday, 10 April 2014

It was another beautiful sunny day on the island, with a small passage of migrants taking place from the early hours. Willow Warbler numbers increased to at least 43 birds, 25 of which were trapped and ringed at the observatory during the day; other warblers comprised eight Blackcaps, 15 Chiffchaffs and six Goldcrests, which were distributed from the coast through to the conifers at Nant. Towards the coast, the highest count of White Wagtails so far this year saw five smart birds frequenting the fields, along with seven Wheatears. Hirundine passage was rather insignificant, with just six each of Sand Martin and Swallow recorded. The first Great Northern Diver for several weeks flew south in the early hours, along with the year's first Sandwich Tern, one Red-throated Diver and six Common Scoters.

White Wagtail numbers have remained in their single figures for the past two weeks, with five smart birds around the Narrows today being the highest count so far this year.

A handful of mist nets were open at Cristin throughout the day, although most of the birds were trapped within an hour or two of dawn. At least 30 birds were trapped throughout the day, including a Linnet, a Meadow Pipits, a handful of Goldfinches, and of course a fair number of phylloscopus warblers...
It looks set for another record Goldfinch year in terms of the ringing. Last year saw a new record of 230 Goldfinches, which broke the previous record of 209 set in 2010. The large passage of finches, such as Goldfinches, in the last few years seems to be a fairly recent occurrence. (c) Steve Stansfield
Continuing on the carduelis theme, this young male Linnet trapped in the observatory garden was just the second so far this year (c) Steve Stansfield
Goldcrests (top) were trapped in small numbers, with weights as low as 4.9 indicating passage birds. A new (unringed) Wren also found its was into the nets; considering that most Wrens on the island already bare rings, this bird could well be a migrant (c) Steve Stansfield
The calm, cloudy nights recently have produced some decent catches in the Heath Trap at Nant. Hebrew Characters (above) have been featuring most frequently, although Common Quakers are equally common at the moment

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