Bird Highlights 2017


Saturday 2nd December comments: Here on the Isle of May NNR we’ve had a reasonable year for the variety of bird migrants which have been found although it could have been better! The weather system during the autumn months was generally westerly dominated which brought fewer birds than hoped for (we need easterly winds for good birds to arrive).

Despite the weather the Island remains one of the best east coast localities for unusual birds and we still welcomed several noticeable highlights including a Two-barred Crossbill all the way from the boreal forest of Russia and a Great White Egret flying over with Grey Herons. The list of ‘best birds’ is shown below, still not bad considering we think that we’ve had an average year! Enjoy the list below and what will 2018 bring….

Major Highlights:

2nd       Taiga Bean Goose, White-billed Diver, Great White Egret, Goshawk,

3rd        Two-barred Crossbill

5th        Golden Oriole

6th        Gadwall, Red Kite, Arctic Warbler  

7th        Gadwall, Red Kite,     

8th        Gadwall, Olive-backed Pipit, Hawfinch

9th        Gadwall, Honey Buzzard, Hawfinch

12th      Slavonian Grebe, Subalpine Warbler (Eastern subspecies*)

(*first DNA sampled individual with two others of this form awaiting review of sight only record)

13th     Sabine’s Gull

14th      European Nightjar

Record breaking

New record day counts of the following species:

  • Pink-footed Goose – 3,585 on 3rd October (was 2,500 in 20015)
  • Goosander – 12 on 22nd September (previously 10 on 22nd September 2010)
  • Tree Sparrow – 55 on 2nd September (previously 47 on 3rd June 1973)
  • Stonechat – 19 on 4th March (previously six on 1st October 2000 !!!).
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