Tuesday, 23 April 2019

23rd April 2019

Weather: ESE 0-1, 4/8 cloud, slight mist around the estuary, low vis

A very light east south east wind first thing produced little in the way of grounded migrants at dawn with only Wren and Robin caught on the first round.

However, there were Willow Warblers singing in the Obs garden and the paddocks and with slight mist around the estuary birds started to arrive including yet another Blackcap and at least a dozen Willow Warblers and a single Chiffchaff.

There has been a hatch of flies around the island and this has encouraged wagtails, that usually fly over calling, to drop in particularly at the North End and down the West Side.

At least 31 flava Wagtails were recorded including at least 16 ‘flavissima’ Yellow Wagtails and a single unusually plumaged bird with greyish mantle (compared to the obviously olive toned flavissima) and broad white wing bars.  Comments received back are that it could be a variant Yellow Wagtail or even some sort of hybrid.  A single flock of seven birds remained about the North End for some time allowing study and photographs to be taken - but as is usual with this species they avoided the ringer’s potter traps. Probably because of the sheer number of flies available!

27 White Wagtails were also counted including many down on the islands - this species particularly enjoying the south end slipway and surrounding sea-weed covered rocks today.

A solitary Grey Wagtail flew over calling and the pair of breeding Pied Wagtails were noted.

Eight Greenland Wheatears were recorded during the day including two females caught and ringed.

Small numbers of finches once again passed over including the first Redpolls of the year to be ringed, caught in the Obs garden mist net.

The female Redstart remained around the gardens and a Common Sandpiper spent the tide around the main island’s rocky shoreline.

Meanwhile the single Dark-bellied Brent was on the whaleback before the tide.

Butterflies were again impressive for so early in the season with the highlights being another (or the same?) Brimstone, Orangetip, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral and Small White.

A single Harbour Porpoise, 136 Grey Seals and 3 Short-tailed Field Voles made up the mammal section of log.

Ringing: Willow Warbler (8), Chiffchaff, Wren, Robin, Linnet, Goldfinch (2), Redpoll (2), Blackcap, Greenland Wheatear (2), Meadow Pipit [404-25]

Photos CJ, PSW and SRW

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