Monday 3rd May
Strong northerly winds throughout the morning, picking up to gale force by the afternoon (max wind speed 65mph!), bringing with it the first decent bit of rain for quite some time. Max temperature 10°C.
Not an awful lot of note on this date due to the very strong winds which – particularly in the afternoon – made it unsafe to go out. Sightings of note from the morning, when winds were less fierce, included two Whimbrel, c200 Manx Shearwater and 18 Gannet offshore along the east, 46 Swallow, two House Martin, five Blackcap, one Whitethroat, the long-staying Song Thrush in Millcombe, a Yellow Wagtail in the Camping Field, 28 Goldfinch, three Siskin, 10 Linnet and two Lesser Redpoll.
Tuesday 4th May
Another day of strong northerly winds (gusting up to 51mph in the morning); some light bouts of drizzle in the first few hours, becoming beautiful and sunny by the late morning. Max temperature 10°C.
Another quiet and tricky day's birding due to the strong winds. Sightings of note included two Swift, a Ringed Plover at Quarter Wall, two Whimbrel, just 31 Swallow, singles of Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff, six Blackcap, one Whitethroat, the Millcombe Song Thrush (singing his heart out again), three Stonechat, six Chaffinch, 29 Goldfinch, 79 Linnet and a Lesser Redpoll.
Wednesday 5th May
Cold, moderate northerly winds in the morning dropped away to become light by afternoon – dry but cloudy first thing, giving way to sunshine and blue skies again later in the day. Max temperature 9°C.
Highlights included a Stock Dove foraging between the juncus stands in Barton Field, a Lesser Whitethroat along the Lower East Side Path and a Firecrest flickering through Millcombe Pines.
Other sightings of note included three Teal on Pondsbury, 13 Swift (the highest count so far this year), four Whimbrel (including two in Quarter Wall Copse!), a Merlin, 80 Swallow, two Willow Warbler, one Chiffchaff, six Blackcap, two Whitethroat, the Millcombe Song Thrush, four Stonechat, 18 Goldfinch and 40 Linnet.
Thursday 6th May
Light north/north-easterly winds and overcast in the morning, the winds picking up again through the afternoon and into the evening – lovely sunshine again shortly after noon. Max temperature 10°C.
A lovely fall of migrants including a singing male Lesser Whitethroat in St Helen’s Copse, a female Pied Flycatcher in Millcombe, and a nice arrival of Spotted Flycatcher, with a least seven birds scattered across the island. Seabirds too were performing spectacularly, the highlight being numerous Kittiwakes starting to build nests in Aztec Bay. The first visit to the St Mark's Guillemot productivity study plot was also carried out in the afternoon. Despite the storms at the start of the week, good numbers of birds were present and incubating!
Other sightings of note included two Teal, a single Swift, a lone Whimbrel in Brick Field, 177 Kittiwake, a young male Peregrine along the west coast, at least 200 Swallow north, 25 Willow Warbler, 15 Chiffchaff, 19 Sedge Warbler, a reeling Grasshopper Warbler below Government House, 30 Blackcap, a single Garden Warbler, 10 Whitethroat, the Firecrest again in Millcombe Pines, the Song Thrush, a female Black Redstart in VC Quarry, a fly-over Yellow Wagtail, four Chaffinch, 10 Goldfinch, one Siskin and 20 Linnet.
Forty-seven birds were caught and ringed: 16 Blackcap, one Whitethroat, 13 Sedge Warbler, seven Willow Warbler, five Chiffchaff, three Goldfinch and two Wren.
Friday 7th May
Light north-westerly winds and blue skies in the morning becoming overcast by 15:00 hrs as the winds picked up from the south-east. Max temperature 11°C.
Highlights included a Lesser Whitethroat singing in St Helen’s Copse – probably the same bird as the previous day – and a small arrival of Columbidae, namely Woodpigeon (9), Stock Dove (1) and Collared Dove (3), two of the latter narrowly avoiding the talons of a Peregrine in Jenny’s Cove. The morning also saw a strong movement of hirundines, and the Firecrest was once again in the pine trees at the top of Millcombe.
Other sightings of note included 14 Swift, a single Whimbrel, a female Merlin over Millcombe, 25 Sand Martin, 700 Swallow, 80 House Martin, four Willow Warbler, three Chiffchaff, a single Sedge Warbler, eight Blackcap, six Whitethroat, the Song Thrush, four Stonechat, 23 Wheatear, two Yellow Wagtail in Brick Field, a fly-over Tree Pipit, four Chaffinch (including a pair feeding nestlings in Millcombe), 10 Goldfinch, 44 Linnet and singles of Siskin and Lesser Redpoll.
|The once-peaceful Village has now become a crèche for dozens of noisy Starling chicks, 7 May © Dean Jones|
|This one was playing peekaboo in Millcombe, 6 May © Dean Jones|
Fifteen birds were caught and ringed: seven Blackcap, two Chiffchaff and singles of Willow Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Whitethroat, Swallow, Goldfinch and Dunnock.
Report composed of sightings from Ben Arkless, Richard Campey, Rob Duncan, Jamie Dunning, Eleanor Grover, Dean Jones, David Kightley, Matt Stritch and Adam Waters.