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Tuesday 27 December 2022

19th to 25th December – Merry Christmas!

Moderate to strong winds from the west and southwest. Mostly overcast with rain but occasional blue skies. Temperatures remain mild.

Five Teal were on Pondsbury on the 21st and a high count of 14 Mallard was taken across the island. The Greylag Goose was still present on the 19th, 20th, 23rd and 25th. A Great Northern Diver was in the Landing Bay on the 20th and two on the 22nd. One showed within 10m during the annual Christmas Day swim off the Jetty!

A few waders were still around after the cold weather Lapwing disappeared completely after 18 on the 19th and 28 on the 20th. 49 Golden Plover were seen on the 19th and 32 on the 20th before they too also left for the 21st. A small flock of five Golden Plover were seen calling and flying around the airstrip on the 22nd. Two Oystercatcher were in the Landing Bay on the 20th and a pair of Purple Sandpipers showed well at Brazen Ward. A small number of Snipe were seen including two heard in the evening of the 21st over the Village.

Purple Sandpipers, Brazen Ward © Paul Dean

152 Herring Gulls were in the farm fields on the 19th, the highest count since breeding birds left in August. Numbers remained around 60 on the 20th, 21st and 24th. A second calendar-year Yellow-legged Gull was with the Herring Gulls on the 21st.  48 Great Black-backed Gulls were counted on the 19th -the only double figure count of the week. There were also small numbers of Lesser Black-backed Gulls with 9 on the 19th being the highest count. A Black-headed Gull flew over Ackland’s Moor on the 19th.

Herring Gulls, Tillage Field © Paul Dean

A Sparrowhawk and Merlin were being seen around the South End of the island still. At one point they were seen fighting over South West Field. The Buzzard was seen up to the 22nd. The Jackdaw is still being seen around the Village.

Buzzard © Paul Dean

One Goldcrest was heard in Millcombe on the 20th and 22nd and two were heard on the 21st. A Fieldfare were seen on the 19th and 21st. The number of Redwing and Song Thrush has dropped from last week. The highest counts were 11 Redwing and eight Song Thrush on the 22nd.  No Redwing have been seen on the since the 23rd. A single Skylark was seen in the 22nd.  A Pied Wagtail was in Barton Field on the 20th to the 24th. Three Meadow Pipit were recorded on the 24th.

There was a small arrival of finches on the 20th with 40 Chaffinch and a Siskin in Millcombe. This dropped again the next day with the next highest count of 19 on the 23rd.

In non-avian news, Pygmy Shrews have become increasingly active in the properties during the cold weather; the logbook is full of sightings including Hanmers, Old Light Lower and Stoneycroft.

Contributors: Stuart Cossey, Rosie Ellis, Paul Dean

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