Thursday, 24 April 2014

Building up...

24th April
We went for a good mix of weathers today, with fog and a strong south-easterly, then clearing visibility as the wind eased slightly before fog returned, then brought rain with it, then cleared a bit before the rain became heavier as night fell. Although early indications were that there was perhaps not that much new, things started picking up later on and the prospects are looking very promising for tomorrow.
Not quite a migrant at every turn today, but by the evening, there were certainly birds starting to pop up across the island.
A Hawfinch over Schoolton was the best of the new migrants and a Great Grey Shrike at Hesti Geo was presumably yesterday’s bird relocating down the island (although given its location and the conditions, a new arrival wouldn’t be out of the question). Also new were the first Grasshopper Warbler and House Martin of the year (both in the famous ‘Wirvie triangle’), whilst an Arctic Tern fishing in North Haven late on was also the first of 2014. Migrants increasing in numbers included 6 Redstart, 10 Willow Warbler, 19 Ring Ouzel, 28 Fieldfare, 16 Brambling, 5 Mealy Redpoll, 10 Reed Bunting, 9 Swallow, 2 Siskin and Grey Wagtail. Surely with that cast, there’s something even better waiting to be found in the morning…
Other birds adding to the interest today including the Kumlien’s and Iceland Gulls, 4 Whimbrel, 2 Jack Snipe, 5 Dunlin, 2 Tufted Duck, Whinchat and 21 Snow Bunting.
Unbelievably, there are still easterlies forecast for a few days yet and, with lighter winds and hopefully improved visibility tomorrow, there’s a growing feeling of ‘anything could happen’.

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