Friday, 28 October 2016

It was a reasonably varied day with some great sightings but also not masses in terms of change with some species. A Siberian Chiffchaff was the highlight on the passerine front, it was found in the afternoon at Ty Capel, one of the gardens at Nant, where it flitted around the garden and was extremely vocal uttering its almost Dunnock like, but not as nasal, "heep" call. Very few other warblers were present with just a single Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and 20 Goldcrests recorded. There were a few new thrushes on the island mostly Blackbirds, of which 19 were seen, Song Thrushes came in second with nine, a single Fieldfare and Redwing were the only other additions. A small movement of finches was noted comprising mostly of small groups passing overhead, eight Chaffinches, 19 Siskins, 12 Goldfinches, eight Linnets and a Lesser Redpoll being the final tallies. The Blue Tit baring a ring on its left leg was still present at the Observatory with two other individuals spotted in the Withies, three Water Rails were also spread throughout the Withies and Lowlands, 20 Skylarks passed overhead along with three Grey Wagtails and 33 Robins, eight Stonechats and two Reed Bunting were other highlights.

Other excitement for the day occurred off the coast as again a great variety of gulls passed the island and fed amongst its many currents. A juvenile Sabines Gull was spotted amongst the masses off the South End where a fantastic count of six Little Gulls were also present. Another good day of Black-headed Gull and Herring Gull passage ended with counts of 2,033 and 387 respectively, intermingled were 48 Medeteranean Gulls, 56 Common Gulls, five Lesser Black-backed Gulls, eight Greater Black-backed Gulls and 480 Kittiwakes. Auks were also out in force, in particular Razorbills with 1,777 counted, and an increase in Guillemot numbers saw 170 pass. A Fulmar, 21 Gannets and nine Common Scoters were other totals.

A Golden Plover was heard heading over the island, two Purple Sandpipers were seen amongst the rocks around the Narrows, a Dunlin was present on Solfach, three Common Snipes were flushed from the Lowlands and Wetlands and a Whimbrel, 42 Curlews, 15 Redshanks, 21 Turnstones and 53 Oystercatchers rounded off a nice variety of waders for the day.

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