An exciting day driving around in the Land Rover conducting the whole island Greylag count. We counted a grand total of 805 Greylags in a two hour period! En route we also encountered 10 Pink-footed Geese, 2 Whooper Swans and a selection of ducks including 30 Teal, 24 Mallard and 6 Tufted Ducks. A look around some of the sheltered bays produced 3 Red-breasted Merganser, 9 Red-throated Divers and 2 Long-tailed Ducks. Wader numbers were on the up thanks to a wider coverage and included 117 Golden Plover, Grey Plover, 43 Lapwing, 20 Purple Sandpipers, 66 Snipe, 3 Bar-tailed Godwits, 24 Curlew, 45 Redshank a late Black-tailed Godwit and an impressive flock of 156 Sanderling in Nouster. The Northern Harrier, Hen Harrier and 2 Peregrines were also seen. Other totals higher than the last couple days included 32 Rock Dove, 29 Moorhen, 8 Twite and 16 Snow Buntings. To add to the diverse mix were 13 Blackbirds, 22 Fieldfare, 10 Redwing, Chiffchaff and 2 Skylark. The Glossy Ibis seems to be content lingering on the island and can still be found on the heaps of decaying seaweed below Hooking.
Today's totals also reflected a good effort invested in the field. Best of all were the discovery of 2 redhead Smew on Bewan, perhaps last winters returning birds which represent the fourth and fifth island records! Also new in was an adult Pale-bellied Brent Goose which flew west past the pier and a Short-eared Owl quartering the Lurand crop field. Other species of note were Red-throated Diver, 2 Great Northern Divers and a nice selection of waterfowl about the island including 32 Teal, 100 Wigeon, 13 Mallard, 2 Pintail, 3 Long-tailed Duck, Goldeneye, 5 Tufted Duck, 7 Shoveler and the drake Green-winged Teal on Gretchen. There were also 9 Twite at the North End of the lighthouse.