Thursday 20 August 2020

20th August 2020

 Weather: SE force 3, mist around the estuary.

The Yellowhammer was again flitting about the island all morning, never staying long enough in one place to pose for pictures, before disappearing this afternoon. It is far from certain that it has gone for good as it was not seen at all on Sunday despite observers being present most of the day. A Spotted Flycatcher took a liking to the east side of the island, first appearing in Niffy bay and then spending most of it's time in the rangers east side garden.

A very high tide at this time of year meant attention was paid to the roosting small waders around the rocks which duly paid dividends in the form of a Curlew Sandpiper and a Little Stint being found amongst them. They were hard to pin down as the flocks of 1,200 Dunlin and 200 or so Ringed Plovers kept rising when disturbed and the Curlew Sandpiper was quite elusive (even though it was in partial summer plumage) but the juvenile Little Stint was eventually located for pictures. 

 With Dunlin for size comparison.

The Curlew Sandpiper in partial summer plumage.

A less expected arrival on the north end was a Purple Sandpiper which moved with the Dunlin flock to the west side to roost. Normally a winter resident a single Purple Sandpiper (centre of picture) often makes it here in mid-summer, they are thought to be just  passing through from elsewhere.

Besides the Dunlin and Ringed Plover, other waders today included 5 Whimbrel, 700 Knot and 6 Sanderling. A Red-breasted Merganser flew passed the island but sea birds in the fresh southerly breeze were at a premium apart from the Sandwich and Common Terns.

 Only 3 Willow Warblers were about the paddocks today, and possibly just 2 Wheatears, with a few extra Swallows passing through. Two Kestrels  hunted the island and a Peregrine flew across between the islands.

Insects included the odd Common Blue butterfly, a Red Admiral and best of all a Painted Lady, a nice record for today, while 2 Migrant Hawker dragonflies were near the 'heli' trap.

Ringed: 2 Willow Warblers, 1 Linnet, 1 Meadow Pipit 

photos SRW

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