A cold and clear morning with the moon descending over the obs just as the sun rose in the east. It was a quiet but pleasent day with few bird highlights, the best being the recapture of the Rock Pipit which was first ringed in October 2007 and was retrapped in October last year (see blog for 17th Oct). This bird (below) seems to have spent the winter with us and is now only 18 months short of a longevity record for this species in Britain.
The Rock Pipit eyeing up the meal worms in the potter trap
Very little seen on the sea today, only singles of Red-throated Diver and Great-Crested Grebe, a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers and about 100 Common Scoter. Seven Purple Sandpipers saw out the tide with about 260 Turnstones, mostly in Niffy bay together with 80 Redshank. After the astonishment at the number of Cormorants see recently at dawn, less than a hundred flew out today. Up to 9 Wrens are about the islands, some of which are not ringed, the only obvious new small visitor today was a Skylark heard around the island on a couple of occasions. Counts of waders today included 6,000 Oystercatchers, 290 Curlew and 30 Ringed Plover.