Tuesday, 20 September 2016

The first trickle of early finches are starting to pass through the island and we can expect numbers to increase as we move into late September and early October. Today eight Chaffinches, a Siskin and 73 Goldfinches moved overhead. Resident Robins spent the day defending and marking their territories for the coming winter as migrant Robins were once again present in fantastic numbers, 67 being the grand total today. A pair of smart Whinchats were new in, one of them spending the day alongside a Wryneck at Nant. A small movement of raptors was observed as five Common Buzzards and two Kestrels, a male and female, moved over the island and an immature male Sparrowhawk cruised around the South End. A Skylark passed overhead along with 14 Swallows and nine Grey Wagtails, other Wagtails include 20 Pied Wagtails, 13 White Wagtails and pipits numbered 99 Meadow Pipits and a healthy 70 Rock Pipits mostly around the Narrows. A Water Rail was present in the Withies, the Long staying Melodious Warbler was spotted in the Observatory garden, managing to stay unobserved over the past few days, where a Reed Warbler was also seen. Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Goldcrest numbers remained fairly steady with 11, four and 26 noted respectively. Other sightings included two Little Owls, 20 Stonechats, four Wheatears, four Blackcaps and 72 Linnets.

A flock of 14 Ravens noisily croaked high above the island, whilst other corvids logged amounted to 13 Magpies, 12 Choughs and 42 Carrion Crows.

At least one Wryneck still resides around Nant
A consistent variety and number of waders noted over the past weeks has been fantastic and today was no exception, most groups tending to congregate around the Narrows and in particular one of the beaches, Solfach. Ringed Plovers, numbering five, scuttled around the beach as a noisy mass of two Knots, 23 Dunlins and 87 Turnstones picked and scrabbled over the seaweed. The very confiding Bar-tailed Godwit was also still present on the beach probing the sand with its slightly upturned bill. A handful of Golden Plovers rested on the rocks just off shore and elsewhere 31 Oystercatchers, four Snipes, five Whimbrels, 58 Curlews and one Redshank were seen.

With the winds dropping off considerably over the past few days visible movements out at sea have slowed in pace, although there were some still sightings of note from today. A Pomarine Skua and Arctic Skua kept up a good run of Skuas with individuals being seen almost most daily over the past week, a single Wigeon passed by whilst other Wildfowl amounted to eight Common Scoter and 29 Mallards. A couple of first winter Mediterranean Gulls were also spotted along with 19 Black-headed Gulls, three Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 14 Herring Gulls, nine Greater Black-backed Gulls and a respectable 621 Kittiwakes. Razorbills continued to pass the island with 255 seen today with five Manx Shearwaters and 30 Gannets were also logged.

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