Thursday, 14 April 2016

A real stunner of a day with excellent weather matched by a decent arrival of interesting migrants. The stand-out highlight of the day wasn’t found until the evening though as a Wryneck was seen on the Mountainside near the Schoolhouse. Unfortunately it wasn’t prepared to perform well, and despite a lot of patience and effort, just one person left with a view of this cryptic species.

An adult pale phase Pomarine Skua off the South End was a surprise, causing havoc with the Herring Gulls, but not nearly as rare in island terms as the flock of three Canada Geese south along the West Coast in the morning.

An adult male Marsh Harrier bombed northwards through the island in the late evening in a day of decent raptor passage including three Sparrowhawks and six Buzzards.

Warblers once again fared brilliantly with the first Sedge Warbler of the year found in the wetlands in the evening. Excellent counts of two Grasshopper Warblers, 47 Blackcaps, 53 Chiffchaffs, 88 Willow Warblers, and 19 Goldcrests were recorded. Two Tree Pipits were the best of overhead movement with 16 Swallows, two House Martins, one Grey Wagtail, one Rook, two Greenfinches, six Siskins, 20 Goldfinches, 148 Linnets, and 13 Lesser Redpolls also noted. The Narrows is starting to draw migrant waders in to rest with today having one Ringed Plover, one Dunlin, two Whimbrels, one Curlew, four Redshanks, and 19 Turnstones. A flock of 20 White Wagtails was nearby whilst 23 Wheatears and one Blue Tit were also present in a very enjoyable day.

Marsh Marigolds are flowering in the boggy areas of the lowlands as spring progresses, adding an additional splash of yellow to the patchwork of flowering gorse bushes on the island

Brown Lipped Snail (Cepaea nemoralis)

Buzzards continue to stalk around the island, and have recently taken to plucking off the ducklings of the year's first Mallard brood on Pwll Cain

Chiffchaff in the pussy willows

Hebrew Characters (top) and Early Thorns (bottom) are amongst some of the more common species in the traps at the moment, with smaller numbers of Dotted Border, Common Plume and V-Pug

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