Sunday, 19 February 2017

Signs of an up and coming spring filled the air with small movements of birds and pleasant temperatures. Clusters of Meadow Pipits moved through the Lowlands and although not quite reaching the masses that will pass through in the coming weeks, 25 individuals was a sharp rise in numbers from the weeks prior. A machine gun like rattle and the flash of white underwings marked the presence of a Mistle Thrush which moved around the island throughout the day, with other thrushes noted amounting to six Blackbirds and a Song Thrush. An Alba Wagtail called as it passed over the centre of the island heading in a northerly direction whilst four Stonechats, including a couple extremely dapper looking males, fluttered from fence lines below and two Little Owls and two Goldcrests were also noted.

A Whimbrel was spotted along the West Coast and although not seen daily this species has been noted throughout the winter months. The Curlew flock numbered 44 today, moving around the Narrows and South End, the Purple Sandpipers were again on show and numbered 27, meanwhile other Waders consisted of 92 Oystercatchers, three Redshanks, 14 Turnstones close by and nine Common Snipes were logged through the Lowlands and North End.

The juvenile Grey Heron resided, 20 Choughs moved from the Narrows where they fed with 30 Starlings, to the skies above the mountain where they tumbled together in a playful mass. Off the West a Gannet, seven Shags, 50 Guillemots and four Kittiwakes were seen.

As the winds had settled a moth trap was set overnight at Nant, two Dark Sword-grass's were the only moths attracted, a species that can be recorded in most months of the year but something of an early record for the island, these individuals having over wintered somewhere close by.

One of two Dark Sword-grass moths

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