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Monday 9 May 2022

2nd to 8th May – Main migration starting to slow down

A mostly dry week with slight to moderate westerly and northwesterly winds.

Starting with wildfowl, seven Mallard ducklings were seen on Barton Pond on the 6th only. Unfortunately with the number of Herring Gulls, Crows and Ravens many ducklings do not survive. Teal have been recorded on a number of occasions at Pondsbury suggesting another breeding attempt this year. An adult Shelduck was seen on the sea off Mouse Island on the morning of the 4th. It was then seen again as it flew high around the Landing Bay and off to the south.

The only Swifts of the week were three singles on the 7th. A male Cuckoo was heard singing on the 2nd and 6th and then seen flying around Pondsbury in the 8th. A Water Rail was heard calling at Pondsbury on the evening of the 7th. A number of Collared Doves were seen over the week with a maximum count of four on the 3rd.

There was good wader passage across the week with Whimbrels logged on the 2nd, 3rd, 7th and 8th. Four Dunlin were seen on the 2nd as well as a Greenshank which was first seen on the Pond outside Brambles. The Greenshank was repeatedly seen up to the 7th in Barton Field and was joined by a Bar-tailed Godwit on the 4th. After the Greenshank left the Bar-tailed Godwit was seen in the wet area in the west of High Street Field with a Whimbrel on the 8th. A Common Sandpiper was heard flying over the Tavern at around midnight on the 2nd.

Bar-tailed Godwit, Barton Field © Rosie Ellis

Greenshank, Barton Field © Rosie Ellis

A few birds of prey were noted with a Sparrowhawk on the 3rd and a Red Kite toured the island on the 8th. The best bird of the week is a Hooded Crow that was seen by the Seabird Assistant Laura Pirateque and Assistant Ranger Rachel Bedwin in Lighthouse Field.

Red Kite, East Coast © Stuart Cossey

The hirundine passage varied throughout the week with an estimated 4000 Swallows on the 2nd dropping off to 30 to 40 on the 7th and 8th. Low numbers of Sand Martins and House Martins were seen with max counts on the 4th of 16 and 21 respectively.

Willow Warbler, Blackcap and Chiffchaff numbers are slowly dropping as most birds are now on breeding territory and no longer migrating through the island. The 3rd was the best day with 20 Willow Warblers, 10 Chiffchaff, 15 Sedge Warbler, two Reed Warbler, two Grasshopper Warbler, 30 Blackcap, a Garden Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat and two Common Whitethroat. Two Reed Warbler were also present on the 2nd as well as two Grasshopper Warbler. Garden Warblers were seen on the 7th and 8th and Lesser Whitethroat were also recorded on the 2nd and 8th. Also of interest was a late female Firecrest that was ringed in Millcombe on the 7th.

Spotted Flycatchers were only seen in the first part of the week with one on the 2nd and five on the 3rd. A male Whinchat was seen along the Upper East path on the 8th. Stonechats are busy feeding chicks all across the island with an estimated 10 pairs. A Grey Wagtail was seen down in the Landing Bay on the 8th. Alba Wagtails still seem to be on the move with a total of seven Pied Wagtails on the 4th and a White Wagtail seen on the 7th and 8th in Barton Field.

Most finches appear to be paired up with at least two pairs of Chaffinch in Millcombe. Goldfinch counts are still fluctuating with a high count of 25 on the 4th, though regularly eight are in Millcombe. Two Siskin were seen on the 2nd and a single male was present on the 4th. Linnets are breeding in good numbers across the island, however flocks are still being seen with max counts of almost 60 on the 4th, 7th and 8th. A female Hawfinch was ringed in Millcombe on the 2nd and then retrapped on the 3rd after it had put on 2g weight. This is probably a bird that has spent the winter in the UK and will be heading back to Europe to breed.

The female Snow Bunting that was first seen on the 1st by Quarter Wall was present up to the 8th but was mobile. It was frequently by Quarter Wall but also seen by the Old Hospital and up towards Halfway Wall.

Contributors: S Cossey, C Dee, R Ellis, Z Wait, L Pirateque, R Duncan, D Kiatley, J Dunning

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