The 26th was a day equally as grim as Christmas day, and thus there was very little to report in terms of bird news. The usual Whimbrel on the Narrows was the best of the bunch, present amongst a flock of 81 Oystercatchers seeking shelter.
For the first time in about a month, the wind speeds dropped below the 5mph mark, after gusting over 50 mph overnight. This narrow window allowed a boat to cross to the island, albeit in less-than-ideal conditions! It also made for easier and more pleasant observational conditions, with a productive selection of sightings: out to sea, a pale-bellied Brent Goose flew south, along with a Gannet, three Guillemots, three Shellducks, five Common Gulls and a third-winter Mediterranean Gull. A good gathering of waders around the narrows included six Purple Sandpipers and the usual Whimbrel, whilst a small flock of 35 Starlings joined the Hooded Crow and Choughs on Solfach. In the wetlands, a total of three Song Thrushes were recorded, along with a single male Stonechat, and the first Jack Snipe for some time was flushed amidst five Common Snipe.
Strong south-westerly winds throughout the day provided some reasonable seabird passage out to sea, comprising two Gannets, a Shellduck, 12 Common Scoters, two Mediterranean Gulls, 11 Black-headed Gulls, eight Common Gulls, two Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 110 Herring Gulls, 109 Kittiwakes, four Guillemots and 708 Razorbills. Inland, the Jack Snipe was again seen in the wetlands, along with three Common Snipe and four Song Thrushes.
It was another breezy day, with the wind speeds kicking up a notch as storm Frank arrived in the latter hours of the afternoon. Another good movement of auks was noted off the West Side in the morning, involving 366 Razorbills and 30 Guillemots, whilst eight Common Gulls and 112 Kittiwakes fed off the Narrows. Singles of Woodcock and Redwings were noted inland.