• Common Rosefinch

    Common Rosefinch © D Jones

  • Baltimore Oriole

    Baltimore Oriole © T Wright

  • Pale-bellied Brent Goose

    Pale-bellied Brent Goose © R Taylor

  • Lapland Bunting

    Lapland Bunting © R Campey

  • Sora
  • Great Northern Diver

    Great Northern Diver © S Cossey

  • Red-rumped Swallow

    Red-rumped Swallow © D Fox

  • Hoopoe

    Hoopoe © D Jones

20240326 Wilwa Rocket Pole JPARKERWillow Warbler on the Gorse at Rocket Pole. ©Joe Parker

After a very wet day yesterday, the clouds parted and a clear night with southernly winds occurred. Winds were recorded from as far south as Northern Spain, so it was a mild night inspiring migrants to use this weather window to move. Due to the drop in wind speed and in suitable wind direction, it was an early start for the team today with the Millcombe nets opened at 05:15 this morning. The increased cloud cover and relatively low cloud base around dawn led to a small fall of migrants first thing and the ringing session started off quite steady. However, just before 9am, a very short period of drizzle arrived and from this moment onwards, a large arrival ‘fall’ of migrants occurred. This led to the number of birds caught and ringed increasing substantially. The number of birds found around the island increased after 9am with good coverage from all comers. The number of birds arriving to the island stayed high throughout the day and the nets were closed around 18:15. In total, the team ringed 191 new birds comprising of four main migrant species: the first Willow Warbler for the year, Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Goldcrest (plus one of our resident Wrens). The team also recaptured an additional 5 birds throughout the day including a 4yr old Blackbird, a Goldcrest caught a few days ago and a Robin and Dunnock originally ringed last year. Full ringing details can be found below.

Thank you to fellow birder Tim for confirming some statistics. The day beat a couple of records including the highest ever numbers of Willow Warbler recorded in March with 97 seen by all comers, and the highest ever numbers of Chiffchaff recorded in March with 334 seen by all comers. The 135 Blackcaps recorded almost equalled the March record of Blackcap sighted (previous March record on the 31/03/2021 was 144). The 42 Goldcrest seen was the highest Spring total for many decades, but this count did not beat the 60 on the 27-31/03/1989 or the 50 on the 27-28/03/1974.

20240326 Jackdaw BrickF JPARKERThe first Jackdaw of the year in Brick Field. ©Joe Parker

It was not just a notable day for the passerines but today saw the highest counts of the year for Puffin (511), Woodpigeon (21), Linnet (32), Goldfinches (8), Siskin (4), and the first Grey Wagtail and Jackdaw of the year. To add to the craziness of the day, the American Green-winged Teal was still present on Pondsbury.

Other sightings today included: 10 Mallards, 4 Eurasian Teal, 2 Water Rail, 14 Oystercatchers, 6 Snipe, 302 Razorbills, 3 Guillemots, 2 Auk spp, 30 Kittiwakes, 140 Herring Gulls, 6 Great Black-backed Gulls, 8 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, single Red-throated Diver, single Great Northern Diver, 19 Fulmar, 5 Manx Shearwaters, 10 Gannets, 2 Cormorants, 24 Shag, pair of Kestrel, single Merlin, single Peregrine, 20 Carrion Crows, 13 Ravens, 19 Skylarks, 43 Sand Martins, 9 Swallows, a single Firecrest, 16 Wrens, 83 Starlings, Song Thrush, 10 Blackbird, 7 Robins, 19 Stonechats, 24 Wheatears, 10 Dunnocks, 19 House Sparrows, single White Wagtail, 4 Pied Wagtails, 16 ‘alba’ wagtails, 79 Meadow Pipits, 3 Rock Pipits, 6 Chaffinches, single Greenfinch, and a single female Reed Bunting.