Saturday, 18 March 2017

It was, overall, another fairly quiet day, with a few highlights. Good visibility for most of the day, but overcast with a strong wind out of the South-west.

Meadow Pipits reached 90 for the day, a small improvement with quite a few coming in/off at the North End in the morning. 27 Chiffchaffs and 23 Goldcrests included a good number of both in the Plantation, while in a garden at Nant was the first Blackcap of the season. Other passerine migrants included 14 Stonechats and six Wheatears grounded, and five Siskins south over Ty Pellaf. Counts of eight each of ChaffinchesBlackbirds and  Robins may have signaled a small arrival, as it was higher than any recent counts, and with some seen in locations not noted on any other recent census routes.

It was quiet on the sea, with the exception of a Great Northern Diver through off the South End, and seven Manx Shearwaters. A Black-headed Gull on the Narrows was the first for March.

The same few raptors were again seen, a female Merlin on the South End, a Buzzard in the center of the island, two Peregrines ranging widely and two Sparrowhawks, a male and a female, at Nant. They bred here last year, so it will be interesting to see if they repeat the feat. Waders were quite well represented, albeit the same seven species as have been seen almost every day over the winter, with 123 Oystercatchers, 16 Redshanks,12 Curlews, 11 Turnstones, nine Purple Sandpipers, four Snipes and two Whimbrels. One Water Rail was sharming in the Withies today.

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