Migrant mayhem

Rare for an island! Pair of Gadwall on the May today

Rare for an island! Pair of Gadwall on the May today

First Redstart of the year, caught and ringed today

First Redstart of the year, caught and ringed today

Plenty of migrants on the move including this Whinchat (which was first of the year)

Plenty of migrants on the move including this Whinchat (which was first of the year)

Bird ringing in progress; Garden warbler in the hand being processed

Bird ringing in progress; Garden warbler in the hand being processed

Friday 24th April comments: Flood gates opened. This morning the May was teaming with life as a good number of common migrants descended onto the island providing no fewer than eight ‘new birds’ for the year (not seen previous to today).

These small passerines have been wintering as far south as Africa and are now heading north to breeding grounds in Scotland and beyond. As the Isle of May sticks six miles off the coast, it’s in an ideal spot for birds to stop over for a rest and feed on their mammoth migratory journey.

And today was a good day as we woke to sound and sight of a carpet of migrant birds. However the real highlight came in the form of a pair of Gadwall…only the fourth ever record for the May. It’s never dull out here, as one minute it’s all about the Puffins, the next its migrants galore…

Today’s Highlights: Gadwall pair (fourth island record), Snipe 2, Golden Plover 2 (first of the year), Redshank 56, House Martin 1N, Whinchat 1 (first of the year), Tree Pipit 2, Wheatear 5, Yellow Wagtail 1 male (first of the year), White Wagtail 1, Redstart 2 female (first of the year), Grasshopper Warbler (first of the year), Willow Warbler 45, Chiffchaff 5, Whitethroat (first of the year), Blackcap 8, Garden Warbler 1 (first of the year, Sedge Warbler 1 (first of the year) and Goldfinch 1

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