Sunday 23 March 2014

Slowly, slowly...

19th-22nd March
With SW gales forecast for Friday, my parents took advantage of the better weather on Thursday to head home (a good decision as it happens, as there were no flights on Friday and, even if the Northlink crossing wasn’t great on Thursday, I suspect it will have been much worse on Friday night). A slightly better day on Saturday didn’t bring much more in the way of birds, but I know I’m not alone in looking forward to the weather next week, which the forecasts suggest could be perfect for encouraging spring migration to kick up a notch. Without wishing to get too excited by the first sniff of potentially decent weather, I’m predicting a Bluetail amongst a few Robins, thrushes etc sometime next week! 
Grace and Freyja (pictured by Gramps) enjoying the start of spring (well, a quite spring like day at least)
The only addition to the year list was Lesser Black-backed Gull (from 21st) and, whilst the regular breeding species are coming back (or passing through) in larger numbers (with 11 Pied Wagtails, 16 Lapwing and 20 Ringed Plover on 22nd for example), not many migrants of note have arrived with them. Two Rooks passed through (21st), a Goldcrest was at Barkland (22nd), a Woodock was at the Obs (21st) and up to 20 Snow Bunting probably all involved new migrants, whilst the trapping area held five Blackbirds and 2 Robins on 22nd, similar numbers to recent times, but the fact that the three Blackbirds caught today were all unringed males (and the one trapped Robin was also an unringed bird) would suggest that perhaps the wintering birds have moved on and fresh migrants are starting to come through.
You aint seen me, right?
The Green-winged Teal was still present (with the Teal flock building up to seven), with other lingering wildfowl including 2 Long-tailed Duck and a Red-breasted Merganser and other birds still around including Peregrine and Moorhen (to 21st at least).
It was good to see plenty of Razorbills back on 22nd (200+ were off Furse and the North cliffs), but Guillemots have still to make a real comeback, with just the occasional day of a heavy presence and none at all noted on 22nd.
A day of rain and strong, cold north-westerlies is forecast for Sunday, then bring on the SE winds...

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