Monday, February 28, 2011
Sunday, February 20, 2011
As is often the case at this time of year, white-winged gulls provided most of the highlights: a flurry of sightings in the first half of the month consisted of 3 juvenile Glaucous Gulls on the 3rd, followed by an adult the following day; a second-winter Iceland Gull on the 5th; and another juvenile Glaucous Gull on the 10th. Two Common Scoters were seen on the 2nd, and a scruffy immature drake was sheltering in Nouster Bay on the 4th, 15th and 16th. A Song Thrush on the 3rd was the first for some time, as was a Woodcock on the 15th that was quickly followed by another a day later. Four Grey Herons flew north on the 11th and a Slavonian Grebe paid a short visit on the 14th. A female Stonechat on the 16th was the only really notable passerine, although a small number of Blackbirds, Redwings and Skylarks arrived at around the same time and a couple of Robins might have been new in.
A count of the wintering Greylag Geese came to 1151 birds, with a couple of Pink-footed Geese lurking amongst them. Numbers of other wildfowl have reached 336 Wigeons, 8 Gadwalls, 72 Teals, 13 Pintails, 23 Shovelers, 3 Pochards, 20 Tufted Ducks, 259 Eiders, 26 Long-tailed Ducks, 11 Goldeneyes and 11 Red-breasted Mergansers. At least 3 Hen Harriers and 2 Merlins have been around and a couple of Peregrines were present on the 11th. Reasonable wader counts have included up to 72 Ringed Plovers; 245 Golden Plovers; a solitary, lingering Grey Plover; 109 Sanderlings; 160 Purple Sandpipers; 42 Dunlins; 75 Bar-tailed Godwits, including one wearing what appeared to be a Norwegian ring; and 98 Turnstones. At least 50 Twites, 13 Linnets and four Common Redpolls are around; and up to 25 Snow Buntings and six Reed Buntings have been seen.