Thursday, 18 May 2017

Following last year’s deluge of rare migrants during the mid-May period, hopes were high for this year. However, unfortunately the island has failed to deliver yet, but it’s still very early days. Instead our focus has been leaning more to monitoring the breeding birds of the island, especially seabirds, now with Manx Shearwaters reaching their peak incubation period following the Full Moon on 10th May.

Out to sea, large rafts and feeding flocks of Manx Shearwaters accumulated to 1951, also moving through were 25 Gannets and 25 Common Scoters, a rare sight recently.

With a Sparrowhawk pair on the island, sightings are frequent with singles often seen hunting or carrying prey. The same cannot be said for our Peregrine pair, with single birds only being recorded occasionally, since they seem to almost religiously feed on the East Side. The only migrant bird of prey today was a Buzzard seen over the Mountain.

Oystercatchers are largely on nests as well, but small groups can still be found with 73 birds recorded today. Migrant waders today included three Whimbrels, three Curlews and two Turnstones.

Overhead passage is primarily consisting of Hirundines still with eight Sand Martins, 135 Swallows and 39 House Martins logged, a ‘Flava’ Wagtail was also heard flying over Cristin.

13 Stonechats and 17 Wheatears are probably now only breeding birds on the island, the latter of which should be fledging their first young within the next few weeks.

Warblers today were 14 Sedge Warblers, three Whitethroats, one Garden Warbler, one Blackcap, ten Chiffchaffs and three Willow Warblers. Spotted Flycatchers are still moving through in moderate number with 15 logged today. Also of note were three Siskins and two Lesser Redpolls.

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