Friday, 30 September 2016

Inland a good variety of species were represented although not in huge numbers. A 'Flava' Wagtail called as it flew north through the centre of the island, appearing to head towards the cattle gathered there but was lost out of sight and not seen again. A Lapland Bunting took a similar path over the island just minutes beforehand but instead carried on and didn't appear to stop over. Amazingly the two Melodious Warblers, the long staying bird at the observatory and the recent addition in the Withies, were still present. The latter of the two, the unringed bird, finding its way into an open mist net later in the day. A Pied Flycatcher, new in, put in a brief appearance at the Plantation where Goldcrests were still in good numbers, 38 in total, most of which were at Nant.

Blackcaps had risen to five individuals today whilst Phylloscopus numbers trailed off with just three Chiffchaffs and three Willow Warblers seen. Passage of finches occurred again, not in great numbers but the start of the main passage to come. Chaffinches recorded came to six birds, four Siskins spent the morning at Nant and 56 Goldfinches were seen. Pipits were represented in decent numbers again with 125 Meadow Pipits and 51 Rock Pipits, whilst wagtails amounted to three flyover Grey Wagtails, ten Pied Wagtails situated mostly around the Narrows along with seven White Wagtails, and 12 'Alba' Wagtails which also passed overhead. One of the highest counts of Skylarks so far this Autumn totalled 12, with most of them favouring in the stubble fields in the North West of the island. A Kestrel continued to hunt through the Lowlands and along the mountainside whilst a Peregrine stooped overhead and a Sparrowhawk stalked Meadow Pipits over Nant. Corvids were again present in good numbers, in particular Ravens of which 18 were recorded today in a flock over the mountain during the morning. Magpies roosting in the older trees of the Plantation numbered 22, 14 Choughs and 22 Carrion Crows were also recorded.

Other birds noted included 33 Mallards on the West Coast, two Grey Herons, a Water Rail, three Little Owls, 18 Swallows, 22 Robins, 17 Stonechats and seven Blackbirds.

Late in the day a bird was discovered up at Nant favouring the willows adjacent to the Plantation and the side of the mountain. It was extremely difficult to pin down with most views of the bird skulking amongst the vegetation there, however this un-streaked Acrocephalus Warbler showed many plumages features of Blyth's Reed Warbler, pale uniform grey-brown upper parts, short primary projection, plain tertials and short supercilium not extending much past the eye. The bird's call Was also good for Blyth's Reed Warbler. However as the light faded viewing became almost impossible and the bird soon disappeared or settled down to roost. Lets hope it decides to stick around until tomorrow!!

Skua passage past the island in the last weeks has been fantastic with individuals being seen on most days of the week, today was again another good day of skua passage. A Pomarine Skua in the morning was a treat as it powered past the north hide at a fairly close range, and by the end of the day 13 Arctic Skuas and three Great Skuas had been counted. The most numerous species off the coast today were Kittiwake and Razorbill, 1,740 and 1,345 logged respectively. Other species although not so numerous were seen in respectable numbers, 65 Manx Shearwaters, 167 Gannets and 46 Common Scoters. Additional birds seen included a small passage of waders, 38 Dunlins and 12 Ringed Plovers. A dapper adult Mediterranean Gull, 87 Black-headed Gulls, three Commic Terns and three Guillemots.

Number of Waders still held a presence, although dropping off slightly. An additional seven Ringed Plovers were around the Narrows, six Purple Sandpipers hid amongst the rocks close by and 42 Oystercatchers, two Snipes, 62 Curlews, four Redshanks and 44 Turnstones were also seen.

A Common Dolphin off the West Coast was a pleasant addition to the day as was the presence of a Migrant Hawker. To add to the that three Hummingbird Hawk Moths buzzed around the Fuchsia's franticly feeding and two Small Coppers, six Red Admirals, a Painted Lady, Small Tortoiseshell and Silver Y were the only Lepidoptera to be recorded.

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