Monday, 9 January 2017

The first passerine falls of the autumn (11th-20th August 2016)

More waders have arrived, the stunning adults returning from their breeding grounds in the Arctic look amazing and were joined by juvenile birds.  Golden Plovers topped four figures by the middle of the month.  Turnstones were on the up as are Dunlin and Knot.  Smaller numbers of Purple Sandpiper, Ruff, Snipe, Sanderling, Whimbrel, Bar-tailed Godwit and Black-tailed Godwit were also present.  Other notable waders included Common Sandpiper and 2 Curlew Sandpiper were also logged.  A family of Redpolls were also found on the island.  There was a small arrival of ducks, Teal coming foremost, followed by lesser numbers of Wigeon.  Seawatching produced a few Manx Shearwaters and the occasional Sooty Shearwater, Storm Petrel, Puffins as well as over 2000 Fulmars in a single session.

The 17th was dedicated to ringing Fulmar chicks, en route we bumped into a Merlin and a Lesser Whitethroat.  A Pied Flycatcher and a showy Wryneck rounded mid-August off nicely.  However, the 20th offered the greatest rewards with 5 Little Stints arriving, 27 Pied Flycatchers dotted around almost every croft and a nice Icterine Warbler.  These were eclipsed by the small fall of Willow Warblers68 Wheatear, a clear increase of birds involving migrants, 5 Whinchat, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 7 Garden Warblers, Tree Pipit and 2 Spotted Flycatchers.