Thursday, 20 October 2016

With the winds returning to their favoured state of a light breeze from the north-east, and the sun revealing itself by midday, birds were flooding through the island. The calm conditions, left the sea at a settled state, which made a Great Northern Diver, 33 Gannets, four Eiders, 23 Common Scoters, 14 Mediterranean Gulls, 703 Kittiwakes and most impressively a Whooper Swan, all the more obvious. Two Merlins continued to hunt across the island travelling between the South End and the West Side, searching for prey. Meanwhile, two Jack Snipes and three Common Snipes, skulked in the Wetlands, hiding from the marauding raptors. Elsewhere, four Water Rails were heard in the withies, and two Golden Plovers were seen briefly over the Mountain. A good passage of Skylarks was noted, with 70 being logged flying over the island today, along with the years second record of Woodlark! Four Swallows were also seen flying over the Wetlands in the afternoon, the last stragglers of the year, before the winter truly establishes itself. Meadow Pipits saw an obvious increase today as well, with 192 logged, a further four Grey Wagtails were heard overhead and a small number of Wheatear, also put in an appearance totalling six birds.

The usual warblers continued to be seen across the island, with four Blackcaps, two Yellow-browed Warblers, seven Chiffchaffs, one Willow Warbler, 54 Goldcrests and two Firecrests recorded.

Yellow-browed Warbler

However, the main talking point of the day was the exciting thrush and finch passage recorded across the island, which primarily took place in the morning when the sun was still stuck behind clouds. An impressive 67 Blackbirds, 38 Fieldfares, 25 Song Thrushes and 146 Redwings moved through the island, some stopping to feed before moving on. The same winds brought with them a selection of finches and in good number. Altogether, 224 Chaffinches, ten Bramblings, one Greenfinch, 28 Siskins, 13 Goldfinches, 59 Linnets and five Lesser Redpolls were seen, making up an enjoyable day of census on the island.

Also moving through were a Hooded Crow, 165 Starlings and three Reed Buntings.

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