Monday, 20 November 2017

20th November 2017

Weather: WSW 5-6, 7/8 cloud, mild, good viz

A thoroughly pleasant late autumn/early winter's day saw the now regular flock of Eider in the gutter with eight birds present in addition to three others just off the North End over the tide.

A single Snipe flew over the sole observer as they approached the island as the the tide flooded and, unusually, it landed on the rocks but skulked off and could not be relocated for a photograph.

Nine Purple Sandpipers were roosting at the North End sheltering out of the blustery westerly breeze.

The three Eiders seemed to be enjoying riding the waves and swimming and diving in the frothy sea and likewise several flocks of Common Scoter were noted totally 350 birds.

Other sea watching highlights included single Red-throated Diver and 3 Great Crested Grebes but not a single auk.

As the tide dropped the Pale-bellied Brents moved up from Little Eye and began to feed between the islands and to the west of the pool with a minimum 280 birds counted including a colour-ringed bird previously ringed on Iceland on passage to/from the Canadian Arctic breeding grounds.

Two Song Thrushes and a single Blackbird were noted on the island but no pipits of any species were seen today. 

Sunday, 19 November 2017

19th November 2017

Weather: S E force 1/2

The weather could not have been better for a November day and despite the temperature never getting above 8 centigrade it felt warm. It was a 'webs' count day so it was pleasing to find 8 Purple Sandpipers in two different roosts. There were 5 in a roost on the north west cliffs (first picture) but the second picture shows the second roost of 3 birds at the north end.
 Three Eiders turned up over the tide, 
There was also a single Common Scoter lounging about but no Red-throated Divers, Grebes or Auks and it was very quiet approaching the high tide, just a few Cormorants about, although some Brent Geese roosted on the south end of the main island with the Oystercatchers.
The southerly wind probably accounted for the movement of 4 Blackbirds, 2 Song Thrushes and 9 Meadow Pipits. One of the Song Thrushes was an adult, the majority we get are first years, but this one can be seen to have no thorn shaped orange tips to the greater coverts, one of the indicators of an adult.
A Merlin made an appearance and was the only raptor noted today.
Ringed: 1 Blackbird, 2 Song Thrushes       [ 624-35 ]
photos JE

Sunday, 12 November 2017

12th November 2017

Weather: NW force 6/7  showers

                                                  A stormy morning first thing, 
               Eleven Eider still loafing between Middle and the North end.

              A Single Blackbird and 4 Robin were all keeping low in the inclement weather.
              Sixty Starling headed west passed Little Eye with a Peregrine sitting on the rocks there too.
             The tide was still covering the top path 2 hours after tide, the wind keeping the tide in.

            One hundred and twenty Shelduck were east of the island.
 photos AEH

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

8th November 2017

Weather: W force 2, later NW 3 clear, cold and sunny
Early in the morning there was a massive flyover of Starlings low over the island towards the north west, the first flock comprised over a thousand birds and smaller groups followed making approximately two thousand in total.
Eleven Wigeon were on the north shore tide edge and 12 Eiders were eventually found when they all gathered at the north end. Only a single Purple Sandpiper was seen, the best waders were a flock of 14 Bar-tailed Godwits flying and another sat by the slipway.  

Generally the paddocks were very quiet although a single Blackbird and 2 Song Thrushes were about and passing through 2 Goldfinches a Chaffinch, 2 Pied Wagtails and about a dozen Meadow Pipits.
photos CJ

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

7th November 2017

The wind was SE 2 on the walk over with visibility of 5 mls, upon arrival on the island the wind switched to the west, the rain started and visibility dropped to 1 mile.
It was a strange dawn below  the low raincloud and the glow reflected on the rocks below the observatory.
Starlings were moving despite the weather and over 600  (in 1 hour) were seen to come out of the estuary in small groups and travel north down the islands.
The only other birds noted were 8 Eider and a Purple Sandpiper on the north end and 3 Song Thrush, a Blackbird and Chaffinch in the gardens.
photos AS