Thursday, 15 September 2011

15th September 2011

After the winds this week an Indian summer arrived, just for the day! light breezes and warm sunshine encouraged movements of Meadow Pipits (about 400) and a small passage of Robins, with other typical autumn migrants including 3 Grey Wagtails, 9 Skylarks, 2 White Wagtails and the more usual fare of 10 Swallows, 3 Wheatears, 2 Chiffchaffs, 1 Whitethroat (above left), 1 Willow Warbler and 3 Goldcrests. Star passerine of the day was a Lapland Bunting flying south between the islands at 09.45hrs. and calling, another large influx this year of these birds would be most welcome. Another Golden Plover (or the same as yesterday) was seen and a brief visit by a Purple Sandpiper to the north end was most fortunate to be noticed as it immediately flew off towards Wales. The Rock Pipit trapped yesterday was caught again (above right), this time at the opposite end of the island, both places seen to be suitable feeding territory for these birds. A Sparrowhawk flew west and never returned to the island (right). The sight of the 'Queen Mary' passing the island came as a diversion for the observers today (left). The most outstanding sight among the waders was the flock of 2,000 or so Knot that wheeled about the islands especially when a Peregrine took some interest, the other waders were in numbers similar to earlier in the week but 7 Whimbrel was a definite increase, and the 2 Greenshank seen separately on the shore before the tide was noteworthy. The sea was very calm but as expected there were leftovers from the gales to be seen if searched for, 2 Bonxies ( right, both came close to the island), 2 Arctic Skuas, 12 Gannets and 12 Guillemots, together with the less wind blown Great Crested Grebes (80) and 8 Red-throated Divers. Ringed:- 6 Robins, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Chiffchaff. (DB,AEH,CJ,KMc, et al) [794-43] photos CJ

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