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Saturday 19 May 2018

15th to 19th May – Dotterel, Firecrest, Hawfinch & major hirundine passage

Below are highlights for Tuesday 15th to Saturday 19th May, excluding James Diamond's sightings covered in the previous post. Dean Jones writes:

"The star of the show was undoubtedly the stunning lady Dotterel who dropped onto the SW point of the island this afternoon (19th). Initially found by Barbara Harrington & Kim Brett, the bird stuck around for quite a while and was enjoyed by numerous island twitchers."

Greenshank: One flying over the South End heading SE was seen and heard calling repeatedly (probably flushed from Kistvaen Pond) whilst I was on a Bumblebee identification course with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust!
Ringed Plover: 4 on 17th.
Dunlin: 1 by Rocket Pole Pond today (19th).
Collared Dove: 1 on 15th, 18th and 19th and 2 on 17th.
Swift: 28 on the 18th & 17 today (19th).
Kestrel: One male and female again on 18th.
All three Raven nests have now fledged young adding another 9 chicks (at least) to the island population.
Firecrest: A lone male was seen and heard singing his heart out in Millcombe wood on 18th and again early this morning (19th).
Skylark: A few more territories were found up beyond Threequarter Wall on 18th, bringing us to 46 territories so far for 2018.
Sand Martin: Single digit numbers on most days. 26+ traversed the island on 18th.
Swallow: Double digits up until 18th when a very conservative estimate of 3,000+ birds was noted. Birds were travelling over the island for the majority of the day averaging around 298 birds every 30 minutes (from sample counts at the North End). Today (19th) was a bit slower but still very impressive: sample count of 2 hours produced 310 birds.
House Martin: Similar to the Swallows, a very conservative estimate of around 124 birds were counted on 18th.
Chiffchaff: 4 recorded on each day within this period. There have been at least 2 birds singing in Millcombe every day during this period. Fingers crossed they will stay and breed.
Willow Warbler: 2 on 18th
Blackcap: 1 male and female on the 16th, 1 female on 17th & 18th.
Whitethroat: 4 on 16th and 2 on 18th.
Reed Warbler: 1 in Millcombe Gardens in the late afternoon of 18th and 2 today, 19th (one in Smelly Gully and 1 in the Secret Garden).
Spotted Flycatcher: 1 on 15th, 5 on 16th, 2 on 17th and 9 on 18th.
Redstart: A lone female was seen catching flies at the top of Millcombe on 18th.
Stonechat: The SW pair are still present and were seen collecting food from within the short heather on the morning of 18th – 7 were recorded in total for this date, six of which were recorded from Gannets Bay.
Wheatear: 36+ on 18th, most of which were singing males.
Grey Wagtail: A very late individual was noted in the logbook on 16th (no additional information).
Pied Wagtail: 4 on 16th.
Chaffinch: 3 on 16th & 17th.
Linnet: 40 on 17th and 41 on 18th. 
Lesser Redpoll: 2 feeding within a patch of dandelions in tent field on 18th.
Hawfinch: Present again in Millcombe on 18th near the Secret Garden in late afternoon, seemingly feeding on lichen (or fallen seeds caught in lichen) – see photo.

Female Dotterel, South West Point, 19th May © Dean Jones
Female Dotterel, South West Point, 19th May © Dean Jones
Hawfinch, Millcombe, 18th May © Dean Jones

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