Monday, 24 October 2016

The days continue to get shorter and the nights colder. A stiff north-easterly wind swept through the island today, adding to the apparent temperature drop. A good variety of birds were noted today, A Little Egret was a pleasant surprise, being only the 4th record this year. Wildfowl logged included a Wigeon, a Teal and 13 Common Scoters past. A Merlin persists to hunt around the West Side and the South End, giving good views at times.

Merlin in the evening sun

A total of three Water Rails, were still heard “squealing” in the Withies, and a Jack Snipe and five Common Snipes were flushed from the Wetlands. On the Narrows, a Whimbrel hid amongst the 46 Curlews whereas seven Redshanks and 21 Turnstones resided in the rock pools and beaches. A good passage of Black-headed Gulls was noted passing with a single group numbering 1146 birds! Tagging along were an extra 48 Mediterranean Gulls, whilst a further 3 Guillemots and 260 Razorbills were logged out to sea.

A Collard Dove, was touring the island and a Skylark and three Grey Wagtails were seen migrating over. Two late Wheatears were also seen on the Narrows and North End respectively.

Thrushes continue to pass through if only in small numbers in the last few days. A total of 44 Blackbirds, five Fieldfare, seven Song Thrushes and 32 Redwings were recorded, some migrating straight over, and others stopping to feed briefly. Some Warblers continue to inhabit the island as well, skulking through the bushes snapping at any flies that are still to be seen. Six Blackcaps, a Yellow-browed Warbler, two Chiffchaffs, 47 Goldcrests and two Firecrests were seen today, with a pallid looking Chiffchaff of the race tristis also present at Nant, which was trapped and ringed later on, providing some entertainment for the guests to admire this subtly different bird.

Siberian Chiffchaff

Two Blue Tits were still present on the Island, at least one bearing a ring. Also groups of Starlings passed the island, summing to 121 individuals. Lastly Chaffinches are still moving through, with 77 logged today.

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