Sunday, 20 August 2017

After what seemed like an age of waiting for migration to happen, today, at long last saw a half-decent arrival! The biggest movers were 210 Meadow Pipits, our first obvious movement of the autumn. Linnets saw an increase to 185, and 27 Willow Warblers were  new in. Other Warblers were nine Goldcrests, three Chiffchaffs, two Blackcaps and two Whitethroats. 23 Wheatears was an obvious increase on previous days, including one of the Greenland race "Leucorhoa", while the five Robins seen were all suspected migrants. Most unusual amongst this decent selection of grounded migrants was a cracking male Ring Ouzel on the West Coast, a very early record! It was also a busy morning overhead, with 205 Swallows, 86 House Martins, 10 Alba Wagtails (one flock, of which three of were identified as White Wagtail and the others almost certainly were too), seven Sand Martins and six each of Grey Wagtail and Tree Pipit.

"Greenland" Wheatear (O.o. leucorhoa) - Elliot's Birding Diaries
A dark morph Pomarine Skua seen offshore early in the morning was the highlight of seawatching. Otherwise Kittiwakes usurped Manx Shearwaters as commonest species, with 1290 of the former and 830 of the latter. An excellent 77 Shags were tallied, alongside 43 Gannets, with some variety in the form of 13 Fulmars, six Sandwich Terns, four Black-headed Gulls, one Mediterranean Gull, two Little Egrets and seven Common Scoters. Four Risso's Dolphins were also spotted offshore late in the morning.

Gannet (Morus bassanus) - Elliot's Birding Diaries
72 Turnstones was a significant increaase, with the only other numerous waders being 41 Oystercatchers and 39 Curlews. Otherwise Dunlins and Redshanks numbered 19 and 16 respectively, there were six Ringed Plovers and four Whimbrels, and a little bit of quality in the form of singles of Knot and Snipe.
Golden-haired Lichen (Teloschistes flavicans - Elliot's Birding Diaries 
The only butterflies of any note were three Speckled Woods at the Plantation. In the Obs moth trap Rhomboid Tortrix and Parsnip Moth were the most notable of a pretty limited selection of 15 species and 30 individuals, but it was nontheless a vast improvement on a very poor few days.
3 Speckled Wood,

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