Thursday, 11 August 2016

A variety of species throughout the island kept the day interesting although no major changes had occurred. A dragonfly kept one observer busy as it whizzed around the Plantation, unfortunately the identification wasn't clinched but it appeared to be a Hawker species, possibly Migrant Hawker.

A small amount of hirundines were noted today including three Sand Martins, of which one spent the early evening feeding over the buildings at Nant. A number of resident Swallows are busy with new broods, some still incubating eggs but others have small to large chicks which should fledge within the coming weeks, numbers reached 57 in total today, eight House Martins were also seen in various places around the island. Steady Pipit numbers amounted to 72 Meadow Pipits and 17 Rock Pipits, whilst Linnets again broke the hundred mark with 112 today.

A nice mixture of warblers were present today around the island. A Sedge Warbler occupying one of the reed beds, four Whitethroats mostly towards the southern end of the island, five Blackcaps, three Chiffchaffs, 21 Willow Warblers, three Goldcrests and another Spotted Flycatcher, again another possibly adult bird with uniform brown wings lacking the buffy tips indicative of juveniles at this time of year. Thrushes and chats were also represented in fair numbers throughout the day, 17 Wheatears mostly around the southern regions of the island, 16 Stonechats scattered about and eight Robins. A Little Owl was just north of the Observatory and single Goldfinch was at the Observatory whilst a male and female Sparrowhawk, 19 WoodPigeons and a Collard Dove toured the island.

Just off the island out at sea wasn't without its highlights. Two Great Skuas patrolled the coast, one of which was observed in a dramatic tussle with a juvenile Herring Gull. Eventually the gull succumbed to the brut strength of the Skua and was drowned. Fulmars seen totalled eight, Manx Shearwaters 1,237, Gannets 62, over 1,000 Kittiwakes and one Puffin. Whilst a Mediterranean Gull, Common Gull, Sandwich Tern and juvenile Arctic Tern added to the assortment of species.

A clear wader highlight came in the form of Greenshank which flew north through the island uttering its "tyew tyew tyew" flight call. Other counts amounted to 57 Oystercatchers, three Whimbrels, 36 Curlews, eight Redshank and 44 Turnstones.

Over the Mountain 24 Choughs played in the wind, the highest count by far for a good few weeks. Other corvids included 12 Magpies, 14 Carrion Crows and two Ravens.

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