Red-throated Diver: Five were feeding in the Landing Bay mid-afternoon on 14th, and four today (16th).
Sparrowhawk: A lone bird was perched on the rocks above the Old Light colony on 15th.
Puffin: 10 on the water in Jenny’s Cove on 14th were the first of the year.
Woodpigeon: A reasonably high count of 12 in Millcombe on 14th.
Merlin: Two seen together on 15th, just south of Threequarter Wall (photo).
Goldcrest: A very handsome male was seen feeding in the Turkey Oaks next to Smelly Gully on 9th – the first of the spring. One possible female was feeding in Smelly Gully today (16th).
Hirundines: The first Sand Martins were recorded yesterday (15th) too (a day earlier than the first of 2017). The count comprised three in total – one bird over Millcombe in the early morning (Dean Jones) and two feeding in St John’s in the mid-afternoon along with a gang of three Swallows (Rob Waterfield & Pete Lambden).
Chiffchaff: Two feeding along the margins of Millcombe Pond on 14th were the first for the year. Three were present on 15th & 16th, again in Millcombe.
Song Thrush: Only one record of a single bird in Millcombe on 15th & 16th.
Redwing: A mass evacuation of thrushes occurred over the weekend; only two Redwings have been recorded since 8th – one on 14th near Halfway Wall and one next to Quarters on 15th.
Wheatear: A single bird on 12th on Ackland’s Moor (near Quarter Wall) was the first of the spring (Zoë Barton). Three were present yesterday (15th), including an unringed bird near the Battery steps (photo) and the first returning colour-ringed bird at Benjamin’s Chair, together with an unringed female.
Pied Wagtail: Max of four on 15th & 16th with a singing male in the Village next to the Tavern on 14th.
Grey Wagtail: One in Millcombe on 14th (Nick Herbert) and one over St John’s Valley today (16th).
Meadow Pipit: c.150-200 were counted in a period of 10 minutes from the Castle Parade (Zoë Barton whilst on housekeeping duty!), 100+ over the village on 13th & 147 counted from the South End to Threequarter Wall on 15th, including large flocks of 50+ feeding birds near Benjamin’s Chair and St Mark’s Stone.
In addition Dean reports that "There was lots of breeding activity recorded yesterday, with many singing birds, gangs of Dunnocks chasing each other through the gorse and Blackbirds and House Sparrows collecting nest material. Oh, and not forgetting the non-avian highlights: the first Common Carder Bee was recorded on 13th and the first Peacock butterfly was seen sunning itself below Benjamin's Chair this afternoon (16th)."
|Wheatear between The Battery & Dead Cow Point, 15 Mar © Dean Jones|
|Merlin near Threequarter Wall, 15 Mar © Dean Jones|