Sunday, 13 August 2017

After a long night ringing Manx Shearwaters and Storm Petrels, this morning our NGBs were set out in force for a combination of ringing and census work.

Migrants for today came in all shapes and sizes, with an increase in migration signalled by a good selection of birds on the move on land and sea. Overhead 386 Swallows, 80 House Martins, 24 Sand Martins and four Tree Pipits were logged. 37 Willow Warblers was the best count for some time, while an obvious increase to 194 Linnets was logged.

A calm sea provided ideal conditions for viewing cetaceans, with a total of 19 Risso's Dolphins, three Common Dolphins and nine Harbour Porpoise. A good diversity of seabirds were recorded, the highlights being singles of Great Skua and Arctic Skua. 65 Common Scoters, one Mediterranean Gull, eight Black-headed Gulls, 106 Gannets, 637 Kittiwakes, 32 Sandwich Terns and one Arctic Tern were also logged, representing reasonable reward for a good day's coverage of the sea.

On the Narrows, Curlews were up to 67, but recent Oystercatcher counts reveal something of an exodus of late, with just 45 seen today. Whimbrel passage this autumn has been better than usual, and 13 today was a fairly good count for the time of year. Other waders included an excellent 52 Turnstones, as numbers continue to build. 47 Redshanks was another high count, and 20 Black-tailed Godwits moving south was probably the most notable sighting. Ten Ringed Plovers, seven Dunlins, two Purple Sandpipers and a single Common Sandpiper completed an excellent day for waders, capped by an overnight Golden Plover heard at 03:45.

Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus) - One of the birds from the mist nets in the withies this morning that was ringed by NGB Kate Fox 

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