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Friday 3 May 2019

3rd May – Yellow Wagtail & Jackdaw in a chilly northerly

Today saw a chilly NW wind veering more northerly by the end of the afternoon, with largely overcast skies, but some welcome sunny spells later on. Hirundine passage was again a feature, with another early peak in Swallow movements, in particular, during the first two or three hours of daylight. Logged estimates were 500 Swallows and 200 House Martins, plus five Sand Martins. There were only small numbers of warblers in evidence, with 20 Willow Warblers (including several very 'washed out', grey, acredula-type birds of presumed north-eastern origin), 12 Chiffchaffs, 5 Blackcaps, and single Whitethroat, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler and Grasshopper Warbler.

On top of the island, the Turtle Dove and Collared Dove were still around the farmyard and Bull's Paradise, whilst a calling Jackdaw flew over South West Field in the late afternoon. A female Yellow Wagtail spent much of the day in Brick Field, associating with the Highland Cattle and showing brilliantly well in the clear late afternoon sunshine.

Female Yellow Wagtail, Brick Field, 3 May © Richard Campey

Female Yellow Wagtail, Brick Field, 3 May © Richard Campey

A real highlight was confirmation of the return of a colour-ringed Wheatear to its breeding territory on the sidelands just south of Quarter Wall Copse, for its eighth successive year, having originally been ringed as a a second calendar-year bird in 2012!

Other sightings included 6 Teal, 10 Mallards (with a total of 30 ducklings in three broods in Lighthouse Field, Millcombe and Pondsbury), mating Great Black-backed Gulls (Shutter Point), 2 Collared Doves, 9 Woodpigeons, 2 Kestrels, a male Stonechat (at Pondsbury), and mating Chaffinches in Millcombe.

Male Stonechat, Pondsbury, 3 May © Richard Campey

Ringing totals: 24 birds ringed including Willow Warbler 7, Chiffchaff 4, Sedge Warbler 1, Reed Warbler 1, Blackcap 1, Wren 1, Robin 1, Goldfinch 8.

Compiled from observations by Richard Campey, Tim Davis, Rob Duncan, Dean Jones, Tim Jones and David Kightley.

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