Sunday, 19 April 2009

19th April 2009

Classic conditions greeted observers at 630am - a fresh south-easterly with mist obscuring Wales. Of course 'classic' conditions don't always produce the birds. However, this morning did not disappoint. Six Wheatears were on Middle very early morning - all looking like Greenland birds - and raising expectations for the day.

At 7am just after observers had arrived on the island the highlight of the day was found in the Conservation Area - a fine male Ring Ouzel; our third of the spring but this bird remained around for everyone to see unlike the previous fly-throughs.

It flew down the fence towards Degsy's pond. It then showed on and off all morning (until about 10am) at the South End, through the Obs garden (and over the mist-net!) and in the Conservation Area near the pond where it had found a small Geo on the east side in which to feed and shelter from the freshening breeze.

Up to 20 Willow Warblers were around the islands and plenty of finch movement overhead was lead by Goldfinches with smaller numbers of Redpoll and Siskin seen and heard.

A fine male Redstart (left) found on the rocks at the South End soon moved into the Obs garden where it promptly caught itself in the mist net. The third Redstart this week. Other birds caught were:

1 (f) Goldcrest
11 Willow Warbler
4 Goldfinch
1 (m) Redstart
1 Linnet
1 Mallard

Whimbrels (see right) were much more in evidence with a couple of flocks of 6 (see below) and 4 seen and a total of 12 logged and the noise of Sandwich Terns was much more in evidence around the island as the sun burnt off the early morning mist.

Visible migration included two Tree Pipits, a Yellow Wagtail as well as a dozen or so White Wagtails and a fine Fieldfare which came 'in off' the sea and landed in the Ranger's garden before rushing south over the traps and through the Obs garden pausing momentarily on the Obs lawn right in front of the net before continuing its rush off south ... probably before the crowds of 'Grockles' arrived, which prompted some of the Obs team to also disappear back to the mainland before the sun-seekers invasion reached fever picth!

(DB, CJ, KMc, SRW + CD & PSW) Photos by SRW

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