Sunday, 15 March 2015

March 14th
It was the best day of the year for migrants and movements of birds on the 14th, with a good mix of fresh arrivals and fly-overs. Visible migration in the morning was dominated by some 690 Meadow Pipits, with small flocks coming in off the south and flying northward up the coast and eastward towards the mainland. A single Skylark, 15 Pied Wagtails, 12 Blackbirds, one Fieldfare, one Song Thrush, five Redwings, two Chiffchaffs, three Goldcrests, 113 Starlings, one Greenfinch, one Siskin and two Goldfinches represented other passerine migrants around the coast and in the vegetated areas, but one of the highlights of the day was the discovery of the year's first six Wheatears between the Lighthouse and Pen Cristin. The smart Snow Bunting was seen in the same location along the West Side midday, and the year's first two Black Redstarts were seen on the Schoolhouse. Three Hooded Crows were seen on the Narrows, which is an excellent count. In terms of non-passerines, a Great Northern Diver was seen off the North End again, and raptors included Sparrowhawk, Buzzard and two Merlins. Of mention later in the day was that of the year's first Manx Shearwater, which was heard calling above Cristin late in the evening.

March 15th
In similar conditions to the 14th, a rather gloomy layer of cloud remained over the island for most of the day, and accompanying this high pressure mugginess were chilly temperatures and light easterly winds. There were generally fewer migrants around on the island, but it was still a reasonable day: four Wheatears remained on Pen Cristin and on the South End; a Black Redstart was seen at the Schoolhouse; two Chiffchaffs were again feeding around the Plantation; and two Skylarks and 201 Meadow Pipits were recorded feeding in the coastal fields and open areas. There was a good movement of Common Scoters out to sea, with 84 recorded during the morning, whilst the year's first (and island's 34th record of...) Canada Geese were seen flying over the West Side, with a flock of three. Other additions to the year list included a Woodcock at Cristin, and a Collared Dove on the West Side.

The first Wheatears of the year arrived on the 14th, which is four days later than when they first arrived last year. There were some great-looking birds amongst the arrivals, such as these first-winter males

A large boost in Meadow Pipit numbers over the last week saw almost 700 on the 14th. Many certainly didn't look like local breeders, and could well be bound for Iceland, such as the birds with very pale underparts, bold streaking and larger supeciliums (middle).

Pied Wagtail numbers are also building on the island, as breeding birds return to their respective nesting areas

Oystercatchers are pairing up and dispersing to their respective territories around the coastline too

Ravens are having an interesting year n the island, with at least five individuals present on the island most days (as opposed to the usual single pair). There appear to be two pairs, although no nesting sites have been confirmed as yet. It would certainly be great to have two pairs nesting this year

1 comment:

  1. Well such a lot of birds have now arrived. I cannot get over nearly 700 Meadow Pipits!