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Monday 27 March 2023

20th to 26th March – First Willow Warblers

Moderate to strong southwesterlies all week with occasional rain. Calm and light northerly winds on 26th.

A total of eight Teal were seen on 24th and 26th. A female Shoveler flew over the Village on the evening of 21st. A high count of eight Woodpigeon were recorded on 24th. Single Water Rail were heard in Millcombe on 20th and 26th. A Black-headed Gull flew north past South West Point on 26th.

A single Golden Plover was heard flying over the island from 20th to 22nd. A Curlew landed in Brick Field after the low cloud cleared in the late afternoon on 20th. A Woodcock was flushed from along the Lower East Side on 23rd and a Jack Snipe was flushed around Pondsbury on 24th.  The nine Purple Sandpipers were still at Brazen Ward on 25th.

The strong winds cleared all the Auks off the cliffs with only 115 Puffins and 20 Guillemot returning to Jenny’s Cove on 26th. Up to two Great Northern Divers were seen from the Landing Bay from 23rd to 26th. A single Red-throated Diver was further out on 23rd. Manx Shearwater are starting to arrive in larger numbers with 200 counted of South West Point on the morning of 26th. A Cormorant flew west past the Castle on 25th and possibly the same adult was seen on Miller’s Cake on 26th.

The female Sparrowhawk was seen on multiple occasions this week, as was the female Merlin. A high count of nine Peregrine were counted on 26th. The Jackdaw remains around High Street Field.

There were few hirundines this week, 10 Sand Martin were counted on 26th. A Swallow flew through on 22nd and eight and 14 were seen on 24th and 26th respectively. The first Willow Warbler of the year was in Millcombe on 21st. The lighter winds and rain overnight brought in a few migrants on 26th. Four Willow Warbler, two Blackcap, 19 Chiffchaff, 25 Goldcrest and two Firecrests were seen across the island with possibly more moving throughout the day.

Firecrest, Millcombe © Stuart Cossey

A few late winter thrushes were on the move this week. A Fieldfare was seen in Millcombe on 23rd and Redwing were noted on 22nd and 25th. A female Black Redstart was below Benjamin’s Chair on 26th and a total of 16 Stonechat were counted on 25th. Wheatear are still moving through slowly with 23 on 24th, 18 on 25th and 31 on 26th. There were big movements of Meadow Pipits on several days including 125 on 25th and 290 on 26th. A max of 11 Pied Wagtail and 16 alba wagtail were recorded on 26th and single White Wagtail were seen on 24th and 26th. A Grey Wagtail was heard flying over on 26th. Finches are being recorded more regularly with Goldfinches and Linnet recorded every day. A total of seven Goldfinch were seen on 26th including one seen flying out to sea off the North End. A Brambling fly over the Castle on 26th.

Wheatear, North End © Stuart Cossey

White Wagtail, High Street Field © Stuart Cossey

Goldfinch, Paradise Row © Stuart Cossey

In non-avian news, the 25th saw the first day with multiple butterfly sightings along the Lower East Side including a Small White, Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock. Three Slow Worms were found in Millcombe whilst transplanting some trees from the nursery.

Peacock, Lower East Side © Stuart Cossey

This week also saw the arrival of our seasonal volunteer Bird Observatory Assistant Warden, Luke Marriner. Luke will be staying on the island until October and assisting with the morning bird census.

Contributors: Stuart Cossey, Luke Marriner, Tim Davis, Tim Jones, Helen Cole, Ishbel Hayes, Bee Cox, Alan Rowland

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