Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Numbers of common migrants are definitely dropping off as we progress through May, with a few exceptions, but there was still a good spread of birds on show today. Most notable was a very good day for Flava Wagtails. A minimum of three unassigned birds passed overhead, alongside two female types on the Narrows/South End that were probably Blue-headed Wagtails, although a perusal of the Wagtails and Pipits field guide made us less certain! Far easier to identify were single males of Yellow and Blue-headed Wagtail on the South End.

Hirundine passage shows no sign of abating so far, with 303 Swallows, 108 House Martins and 28 Sand Martins moving through, alongside a respectable 11 Swifts (not a species we normally get high counts of here). Additional overhead passage consisted of seven Lesser Redpolls, two Tree Pipits, two Alba Wagtails and a single Rook.

On 21, Willow Warblers were the commonest species of Warbler today, shortly followed by 16 Sedge Warblers and 13 Whitethroats. Five Chiffchaffs and three Blackcaps were also present, alongside three Lesser Whitethroats, a Reed Warbler and a Garden Warbler. It's so far been an above-average spring for both Lesser Whitethroat and Garden Warbler, alongside several other now infrequently seen species like Pied Flycatcher and Redstart. Neither of these were seen today, but a healthy 12 Spotted Flycatchers were recorded. Additional grounded migrants included two Hooded Crows in the North-west Fields, six White Wagtails still on Solfach and a lingering Collared Dove at Nant.

Out to sea a good total of 528 Manx Shearwaters were mostly seen loafing offshore, with 249 Razorbills and 17 Gannets on the move, predominantly southward bound. seven Common Scoter passed south and six Black-headed Gull north in addition.

The selection of waders today, mostly concentrated around the Narrows, featured 13 Whimbrels, ten Dunlins, seven Ringed Plovers, seven Purple Sandpipers, three Sanderlings, two Curlews and singles of Grey Plover, Turnstone and Bar-tailed Godwit. Several of the Purplies were coming into summer plumage, a rare treat to see on these shores!

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