Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Today felt a bit quieter than recent days, nontheless the end totals were pretty respectable, with good coverage maintained.

One noticeable migrant the last few days has been Sedge Warblers, with 27 seen today making them the commonest warbler. Just behind on 23 were Willow Warblers, with a good diversity of other species, namely eight Blackcaps, six Chiffchaffs, five Whitethroats, two Grasshopper Warblers and singles of Garden Warbler and Wood Warbler, the latter almost certainly the same as yesterday as it was bearing a ring! Six Goldcrests were also noted from various spots around the island.

61 Wheatears was a welcome increase on the modest passage of the last few days, while a single tardy White Wagtail in Solfach clearly indicates their numbers tailing off, the majority of our migrants will already be up north making the most of the short Icelandic summer. A small passage of finches was noted today, featuring ten Lesser Redpolls, seven Siskins and a few small groups of Goldfinches and Linnets passing over the South End early in the morning. Bird of the day was a very brief and elusive Golden Oriole, seen in the Withies mid-morning, and probably the origin of a mysterious passerine flushed up and seen poorly earlier in the morning. Other grounded migrants were four Collared Doves, a single Ring Ouzel on the Mountain, a Spotted Flycatcher in the Plantation and a Song Thrush in Nant Withy, the latter being rather a late migrant.

A few notable sightings were made overhead, where a strong Hirundine passage featured 203 Swallows, 37 House martins (our strongest movement of the year so far) and 23 Sand Martins. In addition, two Tree Pipits, two unassigned "Flava" Wagtails, two Greylag Geese, one Canada Goose and singles of Rook and Hooded Crow passed through overhead.

Waders were represented by 23 Whimbrels, four Dunlins, three Turnstones, two Redshanks and singles of Snipe (quite a late bird), Common Sandpiper and Curlew. The sea wasn't especially busy, but a dark morph Pomarine Skua seen early in the morning was definitely the standout bird, while ten Common Scoters passed south at 08:00. Other seabirds were seen in modest numbers, but four Puffins anf 39 Manx Shearwaters were noted offshore.

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