Tuesday, 12 September 2017

After the incredible feats of the 11th, today was always likely to be something of an anticlimax. Nontheless, a decent day's seawatching was had, and in slightly calmer conditions an arrival of migrants was noted on land to keep observers entertained.

Offshore the big four were in decent numbers, especially Kittiwakes, with a huge northbound passage off the South End comprising most of the 9683 recorded today. Razorbills continue their steady autumn passage, with 1158 logged today, while our counts of 250 Manx Shearwaters and 193 Gannets were down on yesterdays impressive passage. Skua numbers were also down, although 15 Arctic Skuas, nine Great Skuas and a Pomarine Skua is nontheless a respectable total. The two most unusual species of the day were a Little Egret heading North out of the Sound, and a single Leach's Petrel early in the morning off the North End. Otherwise, sea passage featured 33 Sandwich Terns, three Arctics and two Commons, 53 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 20 Common Scoters, a Guillemot and a Diver sp 

Overhead passage hotted up a bit today, and included a year's best 33 Grey Wagtails, 24 "Alba" Wagtails, and a single Sand Martin amongst a very modest passage of Swallows that barely reached double figures. Three Kestrels today included two that flew out over the South End, with at least one returning some ten minutes later, while a Buzzard over the South End was presumably thinking of doing the same. A Merlin was over the Mountain, but one of the most notable sightings was a party of 27 Ravens that headed south, attempting to cross the Irish Sea before quickly suffering a change of heart. The day total of 29 was the highest count since 52 seen on 4 Oct 2011.

A brilliant passage of 132 White Wagtails was logged today, with up to 67 together on Solfach. 98 Meadow Pipits were also counted around the South End and the Lowlands, with the first Lapland Bunting for the autumn seen and heard briefly over the Narrows, and the first two Goldfinches for over a week also logged. In the bushes, there had been an overnight arrival of 88 Goldcrests and 30 Chiffchaffs, but otherwise little could be gleaned; 18 Robins, five Blackcaps, singles of Whitethroat and Willow Warbler and the lingering Ring Ouzel around the Obs were as good as it got.

After several days where waders put in a good showing, today's total was limited to routine fare. 38 Curlews and 21 Turnstones were the only species to reach double figures, with otherwise just five Redshanks, four Ringed Plovers, two each of Whimbrels and Purple Sandpipers and a single Dunlin.
Dunlin - Ephraim Perfect; Ephraim's Bird Blog

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