Thursday 19 September 2013

Autumn excitement mounting.

18th September
Another day of howling westerly winds and some vicious showers, although the morning at least was largely dry with some very pleasant sunny spells. The highlight of the day was definitely Susannah making it back in to the island. She’s looking rather happy having been to a wedding and visiting family (although that might not last when she sees the state of the shop till after I tried to take over the Administrators role whilst she was away…).
The birds continued to be a combination of species arriving from both sides, with Snow Bunting the stand-out highlight (on North census at least), with a minimum of 345 counted today (the largest September influx since 1998, although numbers in October/November are often higher). There were also at least 15 Lapland Buntings, whilst 19 Pink-footed Geese passed through. The influx of 149 Snipe may have also been from the west, although they were accompanied by 3 Jack Snipe. Definitely from the east were 2 Yellow-browed Warblers (together in Swarzi Geo) and 3 Common Rosefinch, whilst the Great Spotted Woodpecker (which photos show is different to the bird yesterday at South Harbour) and Red-backed Shrike both remained around the Obs.
These two Common Rosefinches were at the Obs this morning (you might recognise the fence as being the one outside my office window!), with probably the same pair at Lower Stoneybrek later, whilst a single was also at Kenaby.
Skylarks posted their highest count of the autumn so far, with 136 recorded and 2 Song Thrushes and a Brambling were new for the autumn. Of the 3 Common Redpoll seen, at least 2 were ‘Mealy’ (rather than the perhaps more expected ‘North-western’).
Other sightings of interest today included singles of Kestrel, Merlin, Peregrine and Red-throated Diver.
There’s a growing sense of anticipation that tomorrow’s calmer conditions could see more birds discovered, although it’s difficult to guess which direction any highlights might come from. The 19th is the 39th anniversary of a Baltimore Oriole on Meoness, whilst we’re also in prime Buff-bellied Pipit time. However, given the trickle of eastern birds sneaking through, I’m going to stick my neck out and say there could be a Sibe BB, maybe a cheeky Lancey?


  1. Are you in any way related to Mystic Meg related!?*!

  2. I saw that Baltimore Oriole. The warden was Roger Broad. 39th anniversary? God, I feel ancient.


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