Friday, 12 May 2017
There aren't many weather systems that catch the rarity hunters attention like a mid-May south-easterly airflow with light drizzle! However, despite our best efforts, little out of the ordinary materialised. It was nontheless a good days birding, continuing our generally above average spring for several of the more regular migrants.
The most obvious passage throughout the day was again hirundines; 504 Swallows, 201 House Martins and 23 Sand Martins were logged, with three Tree Pipits and a single Swift also moving through overhead. On the sea, we had our highest Manx Shearwater count of the year, 1398 including 850 offshore late in the afternoon. A reasonable days sea passage also saw 297 Razorbills, 97 Guillemots, five Puffins, 27 Gannets, three Common Scoters and a single Black-headed Gull move through.
A fair variety was seen on the ground, with highlights being four Whinchats, three Redstarts, two Cuckoos and a Greylag Goose that was flushed off the Narrows by a coastguard helicopter mid-morning! 14 Spotted Flycatchers were seen, as their passage continues at a steady pace. However, it was the quietest day in a while for warblers. 25 Willow Warblers, 18 Whitethroats, 17 Sedge Warblers, eight Blackcaps, seven Chiffchaffs and a single Lesser Whitethroat were seen. Other odds and sods included a total of 27 Wheatears (some undoubtedly residents) and six Lesser Redpolls, two Collared Doves at Nant, two White Wagtails at Solfach, a Hooded Crow on the West Coast and a single Starling, the first in over a week, on the Narrows.
After some good wader days recently, today was disappointingly quiet; 14 Whimbrels, five Turnstones, three Dunlins, two Curlews and singles of Sanderling and Common Sandpiper all that was seen.