It has been a horrible day today. The wind picked up over night and I could hear it blowing down the chimney as soon as I woke. Once outside the cloud was down, and then it was down even lower and the horizon went, and then the end of the island went and the fog and murk was back. And then it started raining, a heavy persistent drizzle that initially seemed innocuous but pretty soon got you wet through, coming in waves across the island. Blown by a gusting north-east wind with a bit of an edge to it. Horrible weather but just the the sort of day that at this time of year gets the excitement levels up. This is the type of day that can bring in migrants. Birds that are trying to travel down the east side of the North Sea but are blown off course and then grounded by the rain.
So with a lightened but soaked step I headed out. With the wind from the east it is the west gulleys of the island that need checking, anywhere where there is a bit of shelter and the birds can start to feed. It takes a bit of patience to spot a small flitting thing and then wait it out and puzzle over what glimpses you get but the rewards are there for persistent.
So what did we find? Quality rather than quantity. A fine selection that included
– another barred warbler, red-breasted flycatcher, 2 more yellow-browed warblers, common redstart, first dunnocks of the year, sedge warbler, 2 song thrushes, 3 bramblings several wheatears, willow warblers and chiffchaffs, a merlin, a peregrine and oddly 3 grey herons on the cliffs.
All in all a great days birding and for me and a great days ringing as i got to ring my first yellow-browed warbler, barred warbler and wheatear. Definitely a horrible day to remember.