Monday, 25 September 2017

25th September 2017

Weather:  W 3, 8/8 cloud, poor vis (3 miles)

The day began with a light westerly wind which did little to raise the hopes of observers who'd been promised south-easterlies for the foreseeable!

However, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise and today was another lovely autumn day on the islands.

The highlight without doubt was a fall of Goldcrests which began in the morning but increased dramatically around midday after a bank of mist and then some light drizzle downed a number of birds.  

At least 50 Goldcrest were estimated to be on the main island today (with 27 birds caught and ringed), 8 Chiffchaffs also appeared (with none ringed before 1pm, five were caught and ringed subsequently).  Many of the Goldcrests were clearly finding plenty to feed on.

Visible movement was a little more restricted but 7 alba Wagtails and a single Grey were noted along with a flock of six Starlings, two Skylark, small groups of Goldfinch (totalling 19 birds) and 60 Meadow Pipits (an increase for us on recent days).  Three Rock Pipits were also noted.

A single Kestrel was present during the day and seen to take a Short-tailed Field Vole despite the excess of Goldcrests on offer.  A Peregrine dried itself out on the mast for some time - either a migrant caught in the drizzle or a bird that had somehow ended up in the water.

Less predictable was a Sparrowhawk which glided over Middle mid morning and temporarily put the gulls and waders up and the semi-resident Crows into a spin!

Also grounded by the drizzle at midday was a fine male Stonechat at the south end which was chased off by a Chiffchaff at one point.

A seal pup had managed to strand itself again near Middle but made its way slowly back towards the tide early on.

Finally, a jellyfish was found below the Obs garden and considered to be a rhizostoma pulmo.

Ringing: Goldcrest (27), Chiffchaff (5) [536-32]
Photos AS and SRW 

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