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Monday 14 February 2022

7th February to 13th February – A few calm days for migration to start

7 February

Overcast with dense fog from 10am

With lighter winds there was a noticeable passage of Linnet through the island with a flock of six in Millcombe and another 4 heard over Ackland’s Moor and South West Fields.  The two Chiffchaffs remained in Smelly Gully and two Great Northern Divers off the East Coast. A total of 19 Mallards were recorded during a full coverage of all the ponds on the island. Also of note was the second Woodcock of the year flushed along Quarter Wall.

8 February

Overcast with strong westerly winds

The female Bullfinch was seen briefly in the Blackthorn below the Ugly by visiting birder Tim Jones before leaving the island after yesterday’s helicopter cancelation. A single Great Northern Diver was still off the East Coast, this time by White Beach. One Chiffchaff and a Goldcrest were in Smelly Gully at the bottom of Millcombe. At Pondsbury, ten Teal were counted and two Reed Buntings were in the Gorse to the south.

Teal, Pondsbury © Stuart Cossey

9 February

Fog and rain clearing slightly in the late afternoon

The morning census was quiet with few species seen in the fog. The Song Thrush, Chaffinch and Goldfinch are still singing in Millcombe and a Chiffchaff was in Smelly Gully. Once the cloud lifted in the afternoon a Merlin was seen chasing a Skylark through the trees in Quarter Wall Copse. They were then lost to view as the Skylark disappeared below the cliff. A single Linnet was heard over Quarter Wall.

10 February

Bright and sunny but with strong westerly winds

A few signs of migration were seen today with two Meadow Pipits flying high over Quarter Wall and a total of six Linnets calling as they flew over. The Merlin was seen again, this time chasing Starlings over the Village. In Millcombe two Goldcrests were in the Sitka Spruce by the Ugly and a Chiffchaff was still in  Smelly Gully.

Sightings during an hour seawatch at 1pm included 1400 Kittiwakes, a Great Northern Diver in the Landing Bay and a Red-throated Diver swimming north.

11 February

Bright with light southerly winds.

It was an excellent day for finch migration due to the calm morning. A total of 73 Linnets were seen, most were flying over but a flock of 30 were briefly in Millcombe. Also on the move were four Brambling which went north along the East Coast and 12 Chaffinches that went south off Benjamin’s Chair. A Greenfinch was heard calling as it flew low over the Village from the west. Meadow Pipits and Skylark were also flying overhead today with totals of nine and 17 seen or heard.

Another highlight was more close views of the Merlin hunting a Skylark, this time low over the top of Millcombe Valley.

Meadow Pipit, Paradise Row © Stuart Cossey

Linnet, Lambing Shed © Stuart Cossey

12 February

Mostly cloudy with strong south-westerly winds

A complete change to yesterday’s calm weather with 40mph winds battering the island. Very few passerines were recorded, a Woodpigeon and Goldcrest were in Millcombe. Only four Blackbirds were seen, ten lower than the 11th. Two Peregrines were speeding around above Benjamin’s Chair whilst a Merlin was sticking low over South West Field.

13 February

Rain all day with a few hours of light showers

A short census was completed late morning once the rain was slightly lighter. Only 15 species were recorded including eight Chaffinch, three Redwing and a Goldcrest in Millcombe.

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