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Monday 27 February 2023

20th to 26th February –Cold weather returns

Moderate westerlies on 20th brought more low cloud and poor visibility. This changed into cold northerlies and easterlies for the end of the week.

A max count of four male and 13 female Mallards were counted across the island on 26th. Nine Teal were still on Pondsbury on 26th. A male Woodpigeon was ‘singing’ in Millcombe on 25th and two were then flushed out of the pines.  Three Golden Plover flew over on 21st and another on the 25th. Woodcock were seen along the East Side and Millcombe on 21st, 22nd and 26th. Two Snipe were seen on 25th and 26th.

Golden Plover, Ackland's Moor © Stuart Cossey

It was good weather for seawatching. Three Great Northern Diver were in the Landing Bay on 21st and two on 22nd. Also on 22nd a Red-throated Diver flew north past the East Coast. 24 Gannets flew past the West Coast on 22nd and 41 were counted on 25th.

The overwintering Sparrowhawk and Merlin are still present. Up to four Peregrine have been counted including a regular pair calling over the Village.

Skylark are occasionally singing but numbers are still low compared to 2022. The first Chiffchaff of the year was heard calling in the Government Willows on 22nd and then seen feeding with Goldcrest in the spruce above Millcombe. Another or the same bird was calling in Millcombe on 26th. A Mistle Thrush was recorded on 21st. Two Redwing were seen on 22nd with one still on 23rd. There was a notable arrival of Stonechat on 25th with nine present within the census area. A Grey Wagtail flew over the Village and landed on the Barn on 24th. A Pied Wagtail has been seen around the Village on 20th, 21st and 25th. Meadow Pipits are also on the move with high counts of 37 on 21st and 65 on 24th. Finch numbers are still low with the overwintering Chaffinch still and only single figures of Linnet passing through.

Skylark, Quarter Wall  © Stuart Cossey

Meadow Pipit, Benjamin's Chair © Stuart Cossey

Male Stonechat, Quarter Wall © Stuart Cossey

This week we said farewell to our short-term volunteer Eleanor. As well as helping out with the morning census, her main role was working on digitising a lot of the historic data in order to protect the important information.

Contributors: Stuart Cossey, Rosie Ellis, Eleanor Grover

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