• Pale-bellied Brent Goose

    Pale-bellied Brent Goose © R Taylor

  • Red-rumped Swallow

    Red-rumped Swallow © D Fox

  • Common Rosefinch

    Common Rosefinch © D Jones

  • Baltimore Oriole

    Baltimore Oriole © T Wright

  • Great Northern Diver

    Great Northern Diver © S Cossey

  • Sora
  • Lapland Bunting

    Lapland Bunting © R Campey

  • Hoopoe

    Hoopoe © D Jones

Another lovely sunny day with weakening North-westerly winds throughout the day. The island felt quite birdy this morning, but the wind direction means it was quite tricky for birds to come across to the island from the mainland. However, as the title suggests, a few eager migrants are pushing through, and it will be interesting to see what the afternoon holds as the wind eases even more.

Census started with a small flock of Goldfinches at the top of Millcombe. This flock split several times and it was difficult to judge how many there were at times but 6 was the best count and seemingly involved a pair, a lone male, and a small flock of 3 individuals. Other bits in Millcombe included 6 Chaffinches, 5 Robin, 10 Wrens (13 seen in total), 9 Dunnocks, 2 Goldcrests, 4 House Sparrows (30 seen in total), the singing male Song thrush, 6 Woodpigeons, 6 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackbirds and 2 Greenfinches (scarce here) found by Andy that were finally caught up with near Millcombe House. A Firecrest was also seen in the pines but was not picked up on census. Off the Ugly, 5 Gannets, 8 Shag, 2 Kittiwake, 4 Oystercatchers, 18 Herring Gulls (127 seen in total), 3 Great Black Backed Gulls and 7 Lesser Black Backed Gulls. Likewise, a Red-throated Diver and Great Northern Diver were subsequently seen from the Ugly but not picked up on census unfortunately.

2024 03 24 MeadowPipit OldLight ThomasWestonMeadow Pipit in front of Old Light. ©Thomas Weston

 

Walking to Benjamin’s Chair was quiet with a pair of Ravens (4 see in total) noted. At Benjamin’s Chair, 3 Porpoise, 2 Fulmar, a Rock Pipit, 2 Wheatear males (1 singing), and a flyover flock of 3 Goldfinches and a single Siskin were nice additions to the census. Rocket Pole Pond had no birds on the pond itself but the regular pair of Stonechats and the sound of territorial Skylarks and Meadow Pipits singing in SouthWest Fields were nice to hear. Checking Lower Lighthouse Field resulted in a White Wagtail that was initially feeding alone with the sheep, then joined by 4 Pied Wagtails where great comparisons were had, before all birds took flight as a flock of Starlings came through. Unfortunately, the wagtails were lost to view. Moving towards the Airfield and a Meadow Pipit was showing really nicely on the wall by Old Light (see above). The Airfield was quiet but a couple more Stonechat and Skylark were noted and a Snipe was flushed from the wet verges in front of ¼ wall.

2024 03 24 Wheatear TheTerraces ThomasWestonSpot the Wheatears on The Terraces. ©Thomas Weston

A quick break from the census heading towards The Terraces resulted in a flock of 4 Wheatear, 3 Chiffchaff and a House Martin hanging around Quarry Pond as well as a single Goldcrest and the usual Stonechats, Dunnocks, Robins and Blackbirds on The Terraces.

Back to the census and Brick Field had an interesting flock of 9 Skylarks which could well be new in migrants as the ‘normal’ birds noted on census are either singing or hanging around favoured males territories. A pair of Mallard, flocks of Herring Gulls, 14 Carrion Crows (20 seen in total) and 108 Starlings were the best between here walked back to the Village.

Other bird sightings today involved:

  • Small flock of Puffins off North Light.
  • Manx Shearwaters passing the East Coast in low numbers.
  • American Green-winged Teal still on Pondsbury.
  • Highest count of the year of Wheatear with 21 spotted including 8 colour ringed birds.
  • Sand Martins, Swallows and House Martins all arriving off the South Coast.

 2024 03 24 Wheatear ANL4009 Joe ParkerOne of the eight colour-marked Wheatear arriving back today. This male was originally ringed as a second calendar-year bird in June '22, but not encountered in '23, so it's nice to have him back! © Joe Parker