• Baltimore Oriole

    Baltimore Oriole © T Wright

  • Great Northern Diver

    Great Northern Diver © S Cossey

  • Hoopoe

    Hoopoe © D Jones

  • Red-rumped Swallow

    Red-rumped Swallow © D Fox

  • Sora
  • Common Rosefinch

    Common Rosefinch © D Jones

  • Pale-bellied Brent Goose

    Pale-bellied Brent Goose © R Taylor

  • Lapland Bunting

    Lapland Bunting © R Campey

A cloudy start to the day but a lot calmer than recent days.

2024 03 10 Raven Village TWestonA Raven in The Village © Thomas Weston

Census was really enjoyable today with the majority of the island’s inhabitants all showing at the same time which makes counting a lot easier. In Millcombe, the Robins, Dunnocks and Wrens were all singing their hearts out whilst the Blackbirds and Song thrushes stealthily hid amongst the gorse bushes. A Goldcrest flitted between the tops of the trees whilst the first of three Peregrines seen today was ‘meowing’ as it flew up and down the valley. We don’t have cats on the island, so this was a nice surprise and a call I’ve been lucky to hear at breeding sites elsewhere but not for a long time. In the thick Bracken, 2 Water rails were squeaking as they made their way through the undergrowth and the pair of Goldfinches were present above the Casbar. Meanwhile, out in the Landing Bay (viewed from Ugly), a Great-northern Diver made a reappearance and was slowly drifting out, a Black-headed Gull flew North, a higher-than-normal count of Shag were made here, and the pair of Oystercatchers were busy defending territories again.

Walking around Benjamin’s Chair and the South-west fields, it was great to have the auks rafting off the coast after a couple of days absence. There were about 279 Razorbills and a small flock of 6 Guillemots present today. Overhead, an ‘alba’ wagtail and a small flock of Meadow Pipits came in-off the south coast heading high inland. A total of 5 Skylarks were heard singing here and the Airfield and the Stonechats have also started singing today too which is great to hear.

The Airfield was quite quiet but quarter wall was a bit livelier. A Meadow Pipit was singing just a metre or so above my head and parachuting to the nearest bush to attract a nearby female. He was oblivious of me! The Fieldfare was still present, though is still quite elusive, popping up on the fence posts every so often. An out-of-census walk to the Terraces led to another flock of rafting Razorbills, a pair of Stonechat, a ‘new in migrant’ Goldfinch, a Song Thrush and a couple of Chaffinches feeding in the Quarry. On the way back to The Village, Brick Field and Tillage Field held a flock of 14 Pied Wagtails (new arrivals) and one of the summer plumaged Black-headed Gulls who has been present for the last few days remained feeding on worms.

The Village Raven’s were showing well and deserved a photo today as it’s not too often you get super close to this species (See above). Meanwhile, the Starlings and House Sparrows are busy singing and getting nesting material respectively so it will not be long before these species start thinking about nesting.

Ringing

This afternoon the weather was too good not to be outside. With all tasks complete Thomas opened some of the Millcombe nets for a few hours. This resulted in 6 birds caught including the first 2 Chiffchaff of the year ringed on the island. One of the birds had a lot of featehr mites, poor quality feathers and was almost certainly born last year. This individual probably overwintered in the UK. However, the second individual has a pronounced pollen horn, three generations of greater coverts and was looking incredible, almost certainly a freshly arrived adult to the UK.

Ringing data