Thursday 11th October comments: Earlier in the week we predicted that Thursday could be the day that would deliver migrant birds to the Isle of May…and it did. Big time.
The winds switched to the south-east, perfect for bringing bird migrants to the island and it did not disappoint. As dawn broke across the island it was very evident that birds were on the move. Hundreds of Redwings, Blackbirds and Song Thrush could be heard swirling in the mist and as conditions improved more birds started arriving. Brambling peaked at over 100 whilst Skylark, Blackcaps and Reed Buntings were seen in good numbers.
The best of the bunch was the discovery of an Olive-backed Pipit; a rare visitor from Siberia and only the 9th ever for the island (although this was the fifth in four years). The bird was caught and ringed but incredibly a second bird (unringed) was found late afternoon (its never dull out here) making it the 10th record for the island! (are you keeping up!)
To add to the Siberian theme, five Yellow-browed Warblers were noted; these Siberian waifs are being seen in increasingly higher numbers in the UK as birds arrive during the autumn. Other interesting birds included a female Hawfinch which was caught and ringed; but not before taking chunks from a ringers hand (they can crack cherry stones so they do pack a punch) whilst a Long-eared Owl graced the island. Throw in two Yellowhammers (scarce on here), the first autumn Woodcock and you can see it has been a busy island.
With further south-easterly winds forecast, we could be in for some more treats, but we’ll not be greedy….well go on then….