Friday, 13 March 2015

Two days of contrasting conditions saw a mixed bag of avian visitors. The 12th was dominated by strong south-easterly winds, cold temperatures and driving rain, and thus there was very little news to report. 26 Purple Sandpipers (the first of the year) were seen off the North End; a single Jack Snipe and five Common Snipe were seen in the wetlands; a single Skylark, 116 Meadow Pipits, two Grey Wagtails, two Redwings, one Chiffchaff and five Goldcrests were the most noteworthy passerine migrants noted during the day.
A much busier day on the 13th was nevertheless not ideal for northward-bound migrants, with strong winds from the north-east. A handful of new arrivals on the passerine-front involved the following: a smart Snow Bunting (the first of the year) on the West Side, three Skylarks and 473 Meadow Pipits scattered around the coastal fields, four Scandinavian Rock Pipits in Solfach, two Grey Wagtails and a high count of 16 Pied Wagtails from the coast through to buildings inland, one Song Thrush and nine Redwings in the Withies and at Nant, two Chiffchaffs and five Goldcrests in the vegetated areas, and small number of finches comprising one Siskin, two Goldfinches, 26 Chaffinches and 76 Linnets. In terms of non-passerines, a fantastic count of five Jack Snipes was made in Ty Pellaf Wetlands, and all were within 50 metres of each other, along with nine Common Snipe. The first Great Northern Diver of the year flew past the North End, along with two Common Scoters, 93 Guillemots and 25 Razorbills.

The first Snow Bunting of the year was present on the West Side mid-afternoon

Meadow Pipit numbers continue to build, with the highest count so far this year made today: a good figure of 473


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