Tuesday 30 April 2024

30th April 2024

 Weather:  ESE force 5

It was very windy this morning but on the plus side the south easterly brought us a lot of good birds and the Bluebells were out at the south end.

It was too windy for mist nets and the potter traps needed firmly securing. The chief prize was the first Whinchat of the year.

Seven Wheatear joined the influx (Whinchats seem often to travel with them). 


There were 4 Yellow Wagtails today, always a joy to see.


About 16 Willow Warblers arrived, they have not finished coming through the island. Three White Wagtails showed and the Whitethroat is still here, still singing just outside the obs garden, while finches did not disappoint, a Siskin, 5 Redpolls and 20 Goldfinches included a flock of 12 in off the sea.

A Chaffinch was ringed, a scarce event lately.

 .... and 2 Robins that were interesting as we haven't seen any recently and they were of opposite sex.


 Over 30 Swallows passed through, also 6 Sand Martins and 4 House Martins. Most unexpected of the wildfowl were 3 Barnacle Geese (of uncertain origin) which landed on the east hoyle opposite the obs.

More usual were the Eiders (6), 4 Shelduck and the single Brent extending its stay. Just 30 Sandwich Terns noted, also 10 Gannets which came in on the tide down the east side.

Whimbrel were the stars of the waders again, 13 today, keeping company with 6 Little Egrets.

Ringed:  10 Willow Warblers, 3 Lesser Redpolls, 2 Goldfinches, 2 Robins, 1 Whinchat, 1 Meadow Pipit, 1 Chaffinch.

Photos: JE, AS,  SRW

Monday 29 April 2024

29th April 2024

 Weather: SE force 4 increasing 5 by midday.

A touch of south in the wind and about 400 Pink-footed Geese set off north, but later than usual, more towards mid-morning.

A lone Brent fed on the whaleback and 3 Canada Geese flew in, 8 Shelduck and a Common Scoter were noted and the full team of 9 Eiders were at the north end. Highlight of the waders was a Common Sandpiper, the first here this year. It was on the rocks by the shore off the south west corner.


There were more Whimbrel (23) than Curlew (8) about today, 


There is still a large contingent of Knot and Dunlin in the Dee, about 5,000 Knot and 600 Dunlin showing themselves today.

Amongst the 600 Dunlin, one was seen with a metal and colour ring, information already received say that it was ringed at Ynyslas, Wales on 21st September 2021.


Six Bar-tailed Godwit flew in.

A passage of several species took place this morning, nothing massive but a nice trickle through. Hirundines did well, over 40 Swallows, 4 Sand Martins and 6 House Martins. A Yellow Wagtail flew south over the island, while 3 White and 3 Pied Wagtails passed by. The 'resident' Whitethroat was still about but 2 new birds arrived, 1 became ringed this morning.

Quite a few Crows flapped passed the island, at least 14. About 6 Greenland Wheatears landed this morning (2 on Middle). Willow Warblers numbered about 10, a single Siskin and 8 Goldfinches and 8 Redpolls (one was ringed today).

On the sea were 8 Gannets and 42 Sandwich Terns. A Harbour Porpoise added to the list of recent records as it swam off the north west corner of the island.

Ringed: 4 Willow Warblers, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Linnet.

Photos SRW

Sunday 28 April 2024

28th April 2024

 Weather: NE force 4  backing NNW 4 later in the morning.

A northerly wind meant no Pinkfeet moving this morning but 5 Greylags gave a flypast for the observers.

Only a single Brent was found, possibly the last to leave, there have been cases in the past when odd ones have lingered for quite some time. Six Eiders (5 adults) were counted,

 ....and 6 Shelduck stayed around the island.

The Whitethroat that was ringed here a few days ago was again in song but elusive to the camera, finally giving itself up to our persistent photographer.

 A single Willow Warbler in the gardens and 2 Goldfinches were the only other possible migrants on the ground. The local Swallows are now showing well in preparation for breeding.




 And of course the Linnets are also in breeding mode.


Among the waders were 2,000 Knot, 500 Dunlin, 10 Ringed Plover, 8 Whimbrel while Bar-tailed Godwit totalled 120 birds. The only sea birds seen at the low tide were 4 Gannets, 6 Scoter and 6 Sandwich terns. Four Little Egrets and a Grey Heron were present. 


Some flowers were very colourful despite the cool weather.


Photos AEH.

Saturday 27 April 2024

27th April 2024

 Weather:  ENE force 2


 The Pinkfooted Goose train continued north this morning soon after dawn, 1,800 estimated.

 No Canada Geese this morning but a single Greylag flew passed the island

 Amongst the group of Eiders 6 were male (5 adult) and 2 females. They mingled with the few Brent that remain at the north end this morning.

 Four Shelduck seem to be making the island their home for this summer.

Early on a Short-eared Owl flew around the south end of the island briefly before heading east.


Redpolls were in evidence again today with an estimated 15 flying over, some dropping in and 5 became ringed. 


Willow Warblers are still passing north, about 12 came through, 6 were ringed today, but the Whitethroat of the last few days stayed and did some sub-song. Four Goldfinches were here but no Siskins were heard today. Early in the day a Collared Dove flew through.

 Up to 14 Wheatears were on the ground, mostly down the west side of the island.


 Two White Wagtails and a Pied were noted, also a small passage of martins, 4 each of Sand and House, as well as the usual trickle of Swallows feeding as they go together with the newly arrived local birds. The small waders roosted around the island at high tide, mostly Dunlin and some Turnstones and Redshank.


Sixteen Whimbrel were seen,  many small flocks have been moving through in the last few days, they seem anxious to go north and breed.

Not many sea birds today, just 2 Guillemots and 140 Sandwich Terns. In the moth trap this morning was a Brown Silver-line.

Ringed:  6 Willow Warbler, 5 Lesser Redpoll, 5 Linnet.

Photos CJW, SRW