Spring sadness Autumn madness!

Grouse 2 (DS)

Possibly the outstanding record of a generation? Red Grouse on the May

Pallid harrier (Bex)

Eastern rare: Pallid Harrier (Bex Outram)

Red foot 4

Juvenile Red-footed Falcon (David Kinchin-smith)

Hoopoe (bex)

October surprise; Hoopoe (Bex Outram)

Nightlage 2

One of just a few spring highlights; Nightingale


Friday 11th December comments: Continuing the series of blog posts looking back over the year, today we look at the bird migrant highlights. With winds dominating from the west, spring passage was extremely quiet although a Great White Egret flying over the island was a ‘first’ for the May. However this was all eclipsed by the remarkable discovery of a Red Grouse (another ‘first’), totally unexpected considering the species is usually sedentary to grouse moorlands.

In complete contrast to the spring, the autumn was impressive with some noteworthy birds including the islands first ever Pallid Harrier, 3rd ever Red-footed Falcon and Red-throated Pipit and a host of other east coast drift migrants. As birding evolves science is starting to play a bigger role and this was shown with the first confirmed ‘Siberian’ Chiffchaff by DNA sampling of some feathers.

The year list stands at a respectable 167, just one short of the all-time record but a fine achievement considering the quiet spring. And it’s onwards to next year and what will it bring?

Major Highlights:

1st        Great White Egret

Pallid Harrier

Red Grouse

3rd        Red-footed Falcon

Red-throated Pipit

4th        Gadwall, Red Kite

5th        Gadwall, Red Kite, Mediterranean Gull, Olive-backed Pipit

6th        Mediterranean Gull, Kingfisher, Olive-backed Pipit

7th        Mediterranean Gull, Kingfisher

8th        Honey Buzzard

12th      Barn owl

14th      Hoopoe

15th      Richard’s Pipit

Also first confirmed record of ‘Siberian’ Chiffchaff through DNA

Record breaking

New record day counts of the following species:

  •  Pink-footed Goose      2,541 west on 25th September
  • Barnacle Goose          1,534 west on 8th October
  • Common Scoter         137N 44S on 24th June
  • Red-throated Diver     27S on 28th September
  • Cormorant                   170 on 23rd September
  • Short-eared Owl         11 on both 27th and 28th October
  • Reed Warbler             15 on 24th August
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