Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Although not staggering numbers, reasonable sea passage in terms of variation of species passed by the island today. Numbers of Common Scoters headed south throughout the morning and amounted to 43 in total. A couple of Arctic Skuas, a Great Skua, Common Tern, Comic Tern and eight Golden Plovers were among the highlights. Small numbers of Gannets totalled 38 whilst two Fulmars, two Manx Shearwaters, a Black-headed Gull, 568 Kittiwakes, 457 Razorbills and a small number of Gulls including seven Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 99 Herring Gulls and ten Greater Black-backed Gulls were also noted.

A highlight inland, and the first of the Autumn, came in the form of a female or immature Black Redstart seen around the Lighthouse Compound on the South End. Goldcrests continued to be present in decent numbers as new birds continue to use the island as a stopover on migrations, Robins were also abundant and numbered 38. Both the long staying Melodious Warbler and the new bird discovered the other day were still in their respective locations, as was a Wryneck which has been favouring the lower slopes of the mountain. A Common Whitethroat was new in and skulked amongst the vegetation as did six Blackcaps, 12 Chiffchaffs and three Willow Warblers. Relatively poor numbers of Skylarks have been recorded on the island so far with apparently no known breeding pairs this year. Passage of this species has also been sporadic so far, however five were reported around various locations today. Hirundines filtered through the island slowly and by the end of the day 179 Swallows and 25 House Martins had been seen. Pipit numbers held fairly consistent counts with 106 Meadow Pipits and 36 Rock Pipits, however new Wagtails passage was nearly non existent as just three Grey Wagtails, three Pied Wagtails and two White Wagtails were logged. Corvids were seen in fairly decent numbers, in particular Carrion Crow numbers which had risen to 66 and Magpies to 26. Choughs amounted to 14 and a pair of Ravens soared overhead.

Not going to win any prizes for best photograph but in terms of identification shows one of the clinching features of Melodious Warbler, the short primary projection. A feature it doesn't share with the similar looking Icterine Warbler which has a large projection about equal to the length of the tertial feathers.

Other birds noted today included a single Golden Plover which flew over Nant in the fog echoing its "pyu' flight call, two Sparrowhawks, two Little Owls, nine Stonechats, five Wheatears, nine Blackbirds, three Chaffinches, two Goldfinches and 148 Linnets.

Solfach and the Narrows, although quieter than previous days were home to a respectable 22 Oystercatchers, one Ringed Plover and Purple Sandpiper, eight Dunlins, one Whimbrel, 24 Curlews, three Redshanks and 39 Turnstones.

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