Sunday, 7 August 2016

Strong south westerly winds whipped across the island for most of the day today making census inland fairly difficult and with few highlights. Out at sea was a different story as plenty of birds moved off the coast. A massive 4,943 Manx Shearwaters were recorded today with most of them seen in the early evening when approximately 3,500 were recorded in the space of twenty minutes as they piled by. Picked out of the masses passing by was the second Balearic Shearwater of the Autumn, with its distinctive flappy flight style, dusky underwings, belly and shape like a podgy Manx Shearwater. Gannets also moved in fantastic numbers, 275 headed south throughout the day. A Great Skua off the South End and Mediterranean Gull were other highlights. Other sightings included 13 Fulmar, 302 Kittiwakes, 19 Black-headed Gulls, 38 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 71 Herring Gulls, 16 Greater Black-backed Gulls, seven Common Scoter and five Razorbills.

A Bar-tailed Godwit flying south along the west coast was the highlight wader wise, however a Snipe passed over the Observatory, and 39 Oystercatchers, three Whimbrel, 12 Curlew, 26 Turnstones and a single Common Sandpiper and Redshank were also seen.

View from the mountain southwards looking particularly stunning with the flowering Heather
Two Swifts made haste down the west coast early on, 15 Swallows and four House Martins made up the numbers on the Hirundine front. A small number of Stonechats were scattered around with six Wheatears, a Blackcap, two Chiffchaffs, four Willow Warblers, two Goldcrests, two Chaffinches, the first Siskin for a while and 123 Linnets. Choughs soared over the mountain in a flock of ten, 16 Carrion Crows were seen in various places and 3 Ravens noisily displayed overhead.

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