• Sora
  • Hoopoe

    Hoopoe © D Jones

  • Baltimore Oriole

    Baltimore Oriole © T Wright

  • Common Rosefinch

    Common Rosefinch © D Jones

  • Lapland Bunting

    Lapland Bunting © R Campey

  • Great Northern Diver

    Great Northern Diver © S Cossey

  • Pale-bellied Brent Goose

    Pale-bellied Brent Goose © R Taylor

  • Red-rumped Swallow

    Red-rumped Swallow © D Fox

Today started off cloudy, dry, but threatening to be another damp day as a slight south-westerly wind blew across the island. The census was split due to it being a travel/changeover day. However, it was quite lively with birds singing for the first time in the last couple days and some ‘appearing from the bushes’.

2024 03 15 RedThroatedDiver LandingBay TWestonRed-throated Diver in the Landing Bay. ©Thomas Weston

In Millcombe, the residents were out in force. Whilst on census we record any signs of breeding, so it was great to record 12 Wrens (10 singing), 8 Dunnocks (6 singing), 4 Carrion Crows (1 pair prospecting the pines), 6 Blackbirds (3 pairs), the singing Song Thrush, 3 Ravens (1 pair prospecting the pines), a charming Water Rail, and 3 Robins (2 singing). Other bits and bobs included 4 Goldcrests with at least ½ bearing rings, a Woodpigeon, a single Chaffinch, an Icelandic ‘illicus’ Redwing, and 3 flyover Meadow Pipits were spotted. Views from the Ugly were good to begin and the Landing Bay was quite sheltered from the wind. As a result, the continued flock of 14 Shag, 23 Auk spp were spotted with at least 3 Razorbills included, 3 Gannet flew south, 2 Great Black-backed Gulls, 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 12 Herring Gulls were seen. However, the standout highlights were 2 Great-northern Divers (both adult winters) and a single Red-throated Diver (scarce here). We have only recorded one adult winter Great northern so to get two in the same view is very good and to have the additional Red throat is even better!

On the other half of the census, Benjamin’s Chair remained too windy to see any auks but there was a pair of Ravens here who we think are now incubating. There were two little flocks of Mallard at Rocket Pole Pond and in Tillage resulting in 6 Mallards. Rocket Pole Pond also had a showy pair of Stonechats in the gorse which is always nice to see. Between here and Halfway wall, 8 Skylarks, 21 Meadow Pipits and 4 Wrens were recorded. At Brick Field, the morning gathering of gulls resulted in 124 Herring Gulls, 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 31 Carrion Crows, 144 Starlings and 8 Pied Wagtails. In The Village, a single Blackbird, 13 House Sparrows, and a single Chaffinch were seen.    

As with previous days, the cloud base dropped, the fog rolled in, and all flights were postponed until the late afternoon when it cleared for a couple of hours. Tibbets was where Thomas was working for a little bit and once the fog cleared the Skylarks and Meadow Pipits were out in force singing across Middle Park.