Wednesday, 30 August 2017

The highlight of today was probably the early morning seawatch, a fine variety of species were logged despite the fairly calm conditions; a North-westerly breeze definitely helped though. It was the best Skua day so far this season with 11 Arctic Skuas, an excellent eight Pomarine Skuas and two Great Skuas while following their typical late summer lull Razorbills are on the increase, 47 seen today being the first sign of autumn passage this year. Other highlights were 16 Black-headed Gulls, 17 Sandwich Terns, one Common Tern and a good count of 47 Common Scoters, with the highest counts coming from 58 Shags, 259 Manx Shearwaters 109 Gannets and 809 Kittiwakes,

Wheatear - Elliot's Birding Diaries
Elsewhere in wader news numbers appeared to be building back up again today with five Whimbrels, 65 Curlews, 18 Redshank, 14 Turnstones, three Ringed Plovers, 36 Dunlins (almost all heading south offshore) and 35 Oystercatchers. The most interesting species were all passing through though, with the second Curlew Sandpiper of  the year heading south offshore with, oddly, a group of Curlews, and two Black-tailed Godwits north off the South End; in the theme of odd carrier species they were tagging a group of Oystercatchers! A Knot that passed overhead through the South End restored sanity, order and some sort of decency by choosing a more conventional trio of Dunlins as its travelling companions.

Rounding it all off with grouned passage migrants, where the three commonest species were Linnet (135), Meadow Pipit (133) and White Wagtail (63). 31 Willow Warblers, 25 Chiffchaffs, eight Whitethroats, two Blackcaps and a Sedge Warbler were recorded, with an arrival of 45 Goldcrests and at least three Firecrests amongst them. It was also a good day for Wheatears and Robins, 31 and 20 seen respectively, while one Siskin, one Starling and four Spotted Flycatchers were the best of the rest. 163 Swallows, 57 House Martins, 17 Grey Wagtails and eight Tree Pipits moved through overhead, while three Sparrowhawks and two Kestrels patrolled the island, and the first Raven passage of the year was logged, with a group of nine thermalling over the mountain.

Firecrest - Josie Hewitt Photography

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