Thursday, 6 April 2017

There was barely a breath of wind on the island today, which made a nice change. The sky was still largely overcast, but the day felt promising.

Two Red-throated Divers loafed off the West Coast for most of the day, whilst 23 Manx Shearwaters and three Common Scoters also passed by. The calm conditions allowed for several raptors to hunt uninterrupted, which led to two Sparrowhawks, a Buzzard, two Merlins and two Peregrines being logged today.

Three Snipes were flushed from the boggy areas of the island today as well, and a Skylark made a brief appearance on the mountain ridge. Our first proper hirundine passage also occurred today, with Sand Martins, Swallows and House Martins passing through, 90, 78 and one were seen respectively. The afternoon saw more migrants make landfall and the year’s highest count of 23 White Wagtails was made with most being recorded on the Narrows along with 28 Wheatears.

As has become the usual, there was a small selection of Warblers scattered about today as well, five Blackcaps, 31 Chiffchaffs, 45 Willow Warblers and ten Goldcrests were seen. Finches were also evidently on the move since a total of ten Chaffinches, two Greenfinches, seven Siskins, 61 Goldfinches, 256 Linnets and four Lesser Redpolls (of which three were trapped at the observatory) were logged.

three male Lesser Redpolls

Finally, the afternoon also held the days highlight as two Lapland Buntings made a brief but bold appearance on the South End, one of which was a male moulting into breeding plumage! Also of note today were three Reed Buntings and a Blue Tit.

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