Sunday, 2 October 2016

After a few weeks of breezy south-westerlies it was great relief to the staff to see some calm easterly winds in the forecast. From just after dawn the forecast did not disappoint as the one of the biggest movements this autumn occurred. Overhead 523 Meadow Pipits streamed past heading south with birds present in good numbers from the Mountain top to the South tip. The sound of Skylarks followed suit with flocks totalling to 194 by the end of the day. The first two Tree Pipits for some time buzzed by as did 13 Grey Wagtails, 18 Pied Wagtails, four White Wagtails, 93 Swallows, and six House Martins. The first push of autumn finch passage comprised 40 Chaffinches, 14 Siskins, 102 Goldfinches, 177 Linnets, and six Lesser Redpolls mostly moving before midday. After the temperatures rose encouraging birds of prey and corvids to take to the air, with six Buzzards, one Kestrel, three Merlins, nine Rooks, and 26 Ravens thermalling over the island.

Birds could be seen moving offshore too with the first three Eiders of the year, two ducks and one drake, the obvious highlight. A total of 67 Gannets, 77 Manx Shearwaters, 32 Cormorants, eight Common Scoters, two Arctic Skuas, four Mediterranean Gulls, 122 Black-headed Gulls, 49 Common Gulls, 27 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 78 Herring Gulls, 675 Kittiwakes, two Sandwich Terns, and 347 Razorbills made for an enjoyable sea-watch.

An obvious arrival inland produced yet more Wrynecks with two seen on the Mountainside around Nant, continuing the fantastic autumn for this species on the island. Warbler numbers included two Grasshopper Warblers, one Garden Warbler, eight Blackcaps, 13 Chiffchaffs, two Willow Warblers, 41 Goldcrests, and best of all, a showy male Firecrest at Ty Capel, the first this autumn. Two Lapland Buntings continue finding the South End to their liking whilst other new arrivals such as two Water Rails, 24 Dunnocks, 27 Stonechats, ten Wheatears, two Song Thrushes, and one Starling made census even more enjoyable.

A noticeable increase in Lepidoptera included 26 Red Admirals, four Painted Lady’s, two Small Tortoiseshells, four Hummingbird Hawkmoths, and 31 Silver Y’s.

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