Saturday, 13 February 2010

13th February 2010

Another good day on the island for February. A single Peregrine sat on its usual spot on the ridge greeted observers on the way over and a record Obs count of 161 pale-bellied and 2 dark-bellied Brents as the tide flooded was a good start to the morning. Sea-watching was the main order of the day though with 12 Red-throated Diver, an incredible 158 Great Crested Grebes, 23 Red-breasted Merganser, 8 Goldeneye (including two smart drakes) and the Velvet Scoter drifted in and out on the tide occasionally flapping its wings and showing off its black-and-white markings.

The other highlight of the sea-watch was a Harbour Porpoise that swam past at 10.05am.

52 Pink-feet flew over the Obs (see below) in a nice flock but unusually heading westwards (perhaps towards the Warren Fields at the Point of Ayr?).

Whilst sea-watching the Purple Sandpiper flock (10 birds today) could be watched roosting at the North End (right) and a single Rock Pipit patrolled the sea-covered rocks (left) before being re-trapped in a potter trap (see below).
Waders were again much in evidence especially as the tide dropped, a flock of 25 Bar-tailed Godwit flew past and small numbers of Ringed Plover, Sanderling and Dunlin followed the receding tide edge. Large numbers of Knot were evident off the East Hoyle and further south down the estuary, but counting was difficult at that distance, despite the visibility being good enough to see the Cumbrian snow covered mountain tops.

Winter residents included 2 Dunnocks (both ringed), 3 Blackbirds (including a first year male re-trapped sporting its adult-liked black body plumage and bright yellow bill and eye-ring but with brown flight feathers), 4 Song Thrush and the small Linnet flock increased to 7 birds.

[CJ, PSW, SRW] Photos PSW and SRW

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