• Baltimore Oriole

    Baltimore Oriole © T Wright

  • Great Northern Diver

    Great Northern Diver © S Cossey

  • Common Rosefinch

    Common Rosefinch © D Jones

  • Hoopoe

    Hoopoe © D Jones

  • Lapland Bunting

    Lapland Bunting © R Campey

  • Pale-bellied Brent Goose

    Pale-bellied Brent Goose © R Taylor

  • Sora
  • Red-rumped Swallow

    Red-rumped Swallow © D Fox

A hazy start to the day as shown by Old Light © T WestonA hazy start to the day as shown by Old Light © T Weston

The hoped for Little Gull never really appeared on the island but it was a busy day for the Bird Obs Team so a couple passing by undetected could have been the case. With it being a travel day for the island visitors, a split census was undertaken with Joe taking the Millcombe section whilst Thomas took the Southwest Field, Airfield and all the fields back to the village. Both of the team were busy throughout the day, so today’s counts were limited to morning census and members of the public observations.  

However, what was really apparent was the wind! The easterly winds continued; in fact, the gusts were considerably stronger than yesterday, and this seemed to affect the counts, with passerines few and far between and rafting auks being non-existent. In total, during the census only 2 Skylark half-heartedly sang on the Airfield and only a single Wren, Blackbird, Dunnock, and Robin was spotted in Millcombe! Even though the small birds hid for the morning, an impressive count of 223 Herring Gulls were feeing in Brick Field with 10 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, a slight increase in Starlings to 193 birds was noted, a Snipe was flushed from the main track across the Airfield, the 7 rowdy Ravens continued to perform throughout the village, two pairs of Stonechat were back on territory and a couple of Rock Pipits flew from Benjamin’s Chair.

Alongside the species noted above, to our surprise, migrants were apparent with a single Goldfinch in Millcombe which was possibly one of the birds from yesterday. Also in the valley, there was a ‘new in’ Fieldfare. Amazingly, this was the first record for a few months and therefore the first of the year! Another surprise was a Redwing that flew in-off the coast over the SouthWest Field and dropped into the bushes around Old Light. This is the first of the species for a few days probably indicating this was probably not one of the overwintering birds we have seen.

An evening walk to Pondsbury resulted in some gull movement being noted. This morning’s Herring Gull flocks had departed leaving just 20 birds in Tillage and Brick fields with a few flocks on the cliffs relating to island breeding birds. However, an impressive flock of 83 Lesser-black backed gulls were roosting in Brick Field. This is the highest count of the spring so far, and probably consisted of island breeders and migrant birds using the island as a stop-over site. Moreover, the arrival of 3 Black-headed Gulls spotted on Tillage wouldn’t sound super exciting on the mainland, but they are an unusual species out here and were feeding on earthworms. This is actually the first sighting of the year for this species! The Fieldfare from this morning was on the Airfield this evening but was rather flighty amongst the flock of sheep.

Ringing

No ringing was undertaken today due to the strong winds.