The steady stream of admirers of the Red-winged Blackbird on the 1st didn’t let up and through the management of the scene by Obs staff everyone left happy! Apart from transatlantic waifs it was a fantastic day’s birding with the continuing easterly wind bringing in a fine array of proper spring migrants swelling our year list totals handsomely; the two highlights came in the form of an Osprey which flew in off the sea at Nouster and continued up the west coast and late in the day a fantastic, floppy HOOPOE which moved rapidly from Ancum Willows over to Nether Linney, eventually showing well for everyone – both these highlights were found by the Heatherlea birding tour group as they roved round the island, showing the advantages of more and more eyes across the island.
Other new birds for the year comprised a very early by our standards Wood Sandpiper on Ancum, 2 Common Sandpipers, 4 Tree Pipits, 4 Ring Ouzels, a Grasshopper Warbler, 3 Whitethroats and a Lesser Redpoll; with the majority of these birds being along the west coast in the brisk easterly wind, you can guess where most people birded!
Blackcap on the doorstep, photo Simon Davies
The list of other landbirds was significant and in no particular order consisted of single Sparrowhawk and Merlin, 2 Kestrels, a Collared Dove, 2 Sand Martins, a big influx of 60 Swallows, 4 House Martins, 2 Black Redstarts, 4 Redstarts, 117 Wheatears, single Redwing and Song Thrush with 16 Fieldfares, a Sedge Warbler, 7 Lesser Whitethroats, 4 Blackcaps, 17 Chiffchaffs, a good arrival of 41 Willow Warblers, a Lapland Bunting and 14 Snow Buntings – a great mix of arriving and departing species!
Waders continued to move through and included 3 Knot, 3 Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Whimbrel and a great total of 563 Turnstone.
Wheatear, photo Simon Davies
Lesser Whitethroat, photo Simon Davies
Reed Bunting, photo Simon Davies