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Monday 11 April 2022

4th to 10th April – An odd arrival of geese and Swallows arrive in strength

 4 April

Westerly winds with low cloud and rain all day.

There was very poor visibility today but there was still some visible migration with what is likely to be the last Redwing and Fieldfare of the spring. A total of 66 Redwing were counted across the island with a flock of 40 seen in Millcombe. Four Fieldfare and two Mistle Thrush were also recorded. A Jack Snipe was recorded and only four Willow Warblers and two Chiffchaff were seen. 

5 April

Overcast with moderate westerly winds. 

A varied day with migrating birds including eight Swallow a Willow Warbler and a Chiffchaff. A few finches were on the move with15 Chaffinches and a Brambling recorded. A Snow Bunting was heard flying over Rocket Pole and a Great Northern Diver was in the Landing Bay.

There were a few small birds of prey around including a Sparrowhawk and a female Merlin. A total of seven Common Scoter were seen from the MS Oldenburg during the crossing to Lundy along with numerous Manx Shearwater.

6 April

Strong winds from west with occasional rain and hail.

A quiet day with a four Swallow and a Chiffchaff the only notable migrating birds. There were fewer finches moving too with only two Chaffinch and a Brambling. The Great Northern Diver was still in the Landing Bay and a Merlin was seen. 

7 April

Clear with continued strong winds from the west. 

It was a still day out of the wind on the East Coast with a Bullfinch calling in Millcombe and the female Great Spotted Woodpecker still in Quarter Wall Copse. A single Tree Pipit was on the ground by Quarter Wall Gate. The Great Northern Diver was still regularly feeding in the Landing Bay. It was otherwise quiet with only one Swallow, a Chiffchaff, a male Blackcap and a Goldcrest.

8 April

Overcast with winds from northeast

There was a better wind direction for migration with two House Martin, six Swallow, 40 Meadow Pipits, a Brambling, 43 Linnets and a Lesser Redpoll seen. Five Willow Warblers, two Chiffchaff and six male Blackcap were in Millcombe. Along the West Coast nine male and four female Wheatear were counted. Also of note was a Merlin, male Kestrel and a Cormorant flying north. The Great Northern Diver remains in the Landing Bay.

The first Breeding Bird Survey of the year was completed this morning. This involves mapping the singing and resident breeding birds to monitor how many pairs are on the island. Surveys will also be done in May and June. The Manx Shearwater nest boxes were also checked with one box containing the pair that were successful last year. 

9 April

Clear and warm with moderate winds from northwest

It seemed to be a day for uncommon island birds. A pair of Canada Geese was seen in Barton Field before flying north. This is only the 18th record for the island. Other birds that are more common on the mainland include a Collared Dove in the Village and a Greenfinch in Millcombe. There seemed to be a slight passage of hirundines with a Sand Martin, two House Martin and ten Swallows. Three Willow Warblers and eight male and two female Blackcap were seen in Millcombe.

Canada Geese, Barton Field © Stuart Cossey

Linnets are still on the move with 47 counted across the island. Also of note were five Cormorant flying north, a Black Redstart, a male and female Kestrel and a Merlin.

10 April

Clear and bright with moderate southeasterly winds 

The best bird of today was the 12th island record for Barnacle Goose. The bird flew in over Tent Field calling before circling with Herring Gulls. The Collared Dove remained in the Village and the female Great Spotted Woodpecker was on the Terrace.

Barnacle Goose © Stuart Cossey

Birds were arriving throughout the day aided by the southeasterly wind direction. There was a constant stream of Swallows with at least 109 counted along with 17 House Martin and 7 Sand Martin. Warblers were also present in high numbers. There were Willow Warblers and Chiffchaff all across the island including several feeding in the rocks at the North End. Final counts were 19 Willow Warbler, eight Chiffchaff, ten male and five female Blackcap and a Goldcrest. A total of 74 Meadow Pipits were seen with a large flock of 54 in High Street Field. Goldfinch and Linnets were also on the move with counts of 25 and 55 respectively. Along the West Coast 18 male and five female Wheatear were seen along with two female Ring Ouzel above Jenny’s Cove and four White Wagtails.

Female Ring Ouzel, Jenny's Cove © Stuart Cossey

Chiffchaff, North End © Stuart Cossey

Other birds of note include a Golden Plover, Grey Heron, female Kestrel and a male Merlin.

Contributors: S Cossey, C Dee, T Taylor, A Taylor, J Dunning, R Ellis, Z Wait, L Pirateque, S Prettyman

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