Bird & wildlife news from 2017 

22nd July

Weather: Rain from early morning throughout. NE3

Passage: Swift 1

Present: Black Redstart 1juv, Robin 1, Wren 1, Wheatear 2, Willow Warbler 2, Curlew 1, Whimbrel 1, Purple Sandpiper 16, Turnstone 43.

21st July

Weather: Dry but mainly overcast. SE4/5.

Passage: Arctic Skua 1W, Manx Shearwater 10N

Present: Robin 1juv, Wren 1, Willow warbler 1, Wheatear 2, Curlew 1

20th July

Weather: Early morning rain clear to leave a bright but largely overcast day. SW3/4.

Present: Skylark 1, Willow Warbler 2, Chiffchaff 2, Wheatear 2, Curlew 4, Whimbrel 1, Turnstone 6, Redshank 1.

14th July

Weather: Dry and bright with a light SW increasing to 4/5.

A Wood Warbler was a surprise in the Low Light bushes, the second earliest ‘autumn’ record.  A juvenile Skylark was along Holyman’s and 2 Dunlin and the first juv Black-headed Gull flew over.  The steady through flow of adult Willow Warblers continued.

Passage: Black-headed Gull 2, Dunlin 2, Red-throated Diver 1.

Present: Curlew 1, Wood Warbler 1, Willow Warbler 5, Chiffchaff 1, Skylark 1, Wheatear 2,

13th July

Weather: Dry and clear with heavy showers mid-afternoon & evening. Calm then SW2

An adult Pomarine Skua west past the isle was the first for two years.

Passage: Common Scoter 8s, Manx Shearwater 15, Bonxie 1, Pomarine Skua 1W, Red-throated Diver 1N.

Present: Willow Warbler 1, Wheatear 1juv.

12th July

Weather: Overcast start to the day before clearing to a warm day until a light SE 3 picked up late afternoon.

Passage: Manx Shearwater 19N, Common Scoter 14N, Red-throated Diver 1

Present: Snipe 1, Turnstone 40, Curlew 1, Robin 1, Meadow Pipit 2, Willow Warbler 1, Carrion Crow 1.

11th July

Weather: Overnight rain clearing to leave a clear and sunny day with SW1.

Willow Warbler numbers increased with at least 6 adults present.

Present: Dunlin 1, Curlew 2, Turnstone 25, Redshank 2, Wheatear 1juv.

10th July

Weather: Mainly NE3 becoming calm. Drizzly morning drying up but overcast afternoon.

A Black Guillemot was off Pilgrims Haven while a Golden Plover was noted and the Dunlin was still present.

Present: Black Guillemot 1, Dunlin 1, Goldenb Plover 1, Purple Sandpiper 2, Turnstone 30, Redshank 7, Curlew 1, Wheatear 1.

9th July

Weather: Largely overcast but dry morning with light rain through most of the afternoon & evening. W3 decreasing to almost calm late afternoon.

A good day for waders the highlight being three adult Black-tailed Godwits were a surprise along Holyman’s Road before heading down to Cross Park.  An adult Dunlin was on South Plateau and a Greenshank on North Plateau.  A teal was on the South Plateau.

Passage: Grey Heron 1N

Present: Black-tailed Godwit 3, Dunlin 1, Greenshank 1, Curlew 2, Redshank 4, Turnstone 25, Teal 1, Crow 2, Wheatear 1, Willow Warbler 1, Woodpigeon 2.

8th July

Weather: Clear and sunny with a light SW.

Passage: Manx Shearwater 6N, Black-headed Gull 1N

Present: Willow warbler 2, Chiffchaff 1, Wheatear 1,

7th July

Weather: Mainly bright. SW4 decreasing to calm by evening.

Single Spotted Flycatcher and Song Thrush were new arrivals.

Passage: Manx Shearwater 7

Present: Woodpigeon 2, Spotted Flycatcher 1, Song Thrush 1, Starling 80, MCurlew 2.

6th July

Weather: Overnight rain.  Mainly overcast with occasional brighter spells and the odd drop of rain. Warm and calm.

The first Storm Petrel of the year was caught overnight.

Passage: Manx Shearwater 5S, Common Scoter 15N, Grey Heron 1.

Present: Storm Petrel 1, Common Sandpiper 1, Curlew 1, Turnstone 20, Carrion Crow 2, Woodpigeon 3, Chiffchaff 1.

5th July

Weather: Mainly bright and sunny with a SE 2.

Passage: Manx Shearwater 22N, Common Scoter 19N

Present: Turnstone 42, Common Sandpiper 1, Chiffchaff 1, Curlew 1.

4th July

Weather: Overcast early on with rain from 6.30am mainly light. ESE2

Passage: Manx Shearwater 42N, Arctic Skua 1N

Present: Common Sandpiper 1, Curlew 1, Redshank 1, Turnstone 54, Grey Heron 1, Woodpigeon 1, Crow 1.

3rd July

Weather: Dry and bright with a decreasing SW from 4 to almost calm by evening.

Present: Redshank 2, Curlew 1, Turnstone 45, Willow Warbler 1, Wheatear 1.

2nd July

Weather: Dry and sunny with SW 5

Further waders in the form of the year’s first Green sandpiper on the High Tarn.  A Willow Warbler was the first returning bird.

Passage: Siskin 1W

Present: Redshank 4, Ringed Plover 1, Green sandpiper 1, Curlew 2, Wheatear 1, Willow Warbler 1, Woodpigeon 1.

1st July

Weather: Dry! Overcast early morning then largely clear and sunny. Calm then increasing SW becoming force 6.

Clearing weather at last which turned out to be a cracking day for waders.  The highlights were the first Greenshank and Knot of the year while a Wood Sandpiper remained.  A Black Redstart remained.

Passage: Bonxie 1, Dunlin 3S, Greenshank 1, Grey Heron 1W.

Present: Curlew 4, Common Sandpiper 1, Turnstone 15, Knot 1, Redshank 1, Black Redstart 1, Chiffchaff 3, Wheatear 1, Carrion Crow 1, Woodpigeon 2.

 Black Redstart (David Steel)

30th June

Weather: Light rain until late afternoon when dry with high cloud. NE4 decreasing to calm in evening.

Well it could really get any wetter but after 36 hours of continual rain it finally stopped.  In the murk a Black Redstart was a new arrival while a Whitethroat was in the Top Garden.  The two Wood Sandpipers were now together on South Plateau.

Present: Wood Sandpiper 2, Black Redstart 1, Starling 60, Turnstone 2, Chiffchaff 2, Woodpigeon 4, Wheatear 2, Whitethroat 1.

29th June

Weather: Horrendous. NE 7 continuous rain, poor visibility.

It remains to be seen what further impact the weather has on the seabirds with conditions more like mid winter than late June.  Despite all the lovely weather for ducks appeared good for waders with two Wood Sandpipers appeared at either end of the island the first for nearly 2 years.  But the Black-browed Albatross tracked up the east coast could not be seen through the murk.

Passage: Arctic Skua 3N, Black-headed Gull 1

Present: Wood Sandpiper 2, Turnstone 1, Purple Sandpiper 2, Curlew 1, Wheatear 1.

28th June

Weather: E2 inc NE5/6 by evening. Dry and bright.

Passage: Manx Shearwater 4N

Present: Chiffchaff 1, Wheatear 1, Starling 35.

27th June

Weather: Rain heavy through the morning. SE 4 backing NE by evening.

Present: Chiffchaff 1, Wheatear 1, Starling 35, Turnstone 40, Woodpigeon.

26th June

Weather: Calm becoming SE 2. Dry and sunny clouding over in the afternoon.

Passgae: Black-headed Gull 1,

Present: Grey Heron 5, Curlew 1, Turnstone 11, Wheatear 1juv.

25th June

Weather: SW5. Mainly clear and sunny with brief showers late afternoon.

Passage: Black-headed Gull 2

Present: Turnstone 30, Starling 35, Grey Heron 1

24th June

Weather: SW5 inc 8. Mainly clear and sunny.

A juvenile wheatear was the first of the ‘autumn’.  The strong westerlies washed off the bottom of Greenface resulting in hundreds of chicks perishing just ahead of fledging.

Present: Wheatear 1, Starling 36.

23rd June

Weather: SW4 inc 5/6 in afternoon. Overcast occasionally showery morning. Clear afternoon.

Present: Chiffchaff 1, Carrion Crow 2, Starling 55.

22nd June

Weather: Light SW with fine rain for most of the morning. Bright afternoon with variable 2 wind.

Passage: Great Skua 1, Manx Shearwater 2N, Swift 6S.

Present: Starling 35, Turnstone 30, Chiffchaff 1

21st June

Weather: Light SE and generally dry 7 bright until early evening when there were several hours of thunderstorms.

Passage: Manx Shearwater 2N, Swift 4S

Present: Linnet 1, Turnstone 28, Starling 35

20th June

Passage: Manx Shearwater 18N, Common Scoter 116N

Present: Stonechat 1f, Turnstone 24

19th June

Weather: Clear and sunny with cloud for a time late afternoon. Calm becoming SE 3 for a time

Passage: Manx Shearwater 3N, Common Scoter 122N, Swift 13N, Black-headed Gull 3.

Present: Skylark 1 singing, Chiffchaff 1, Starling 25+

Cetaceans: Minke Whale 1, Harbour Porpoise 2, Bottle-nosed Dolphin 4 distantly.

18th June

Weather: W3 becoming calm. Clear sunny and hot!

Other than the weather the highlight was an impressive flock of 320 Starlings over the island heading north leaving at least 40 on the isle. Otherwise 2 Siskin south were a little unseasonal.

Passage: Starling 320N, Siskin 2S, Swift 3S, Black-headed Gull 3.


17th June

Weather: Dry, mainly clear and increasingly warm. SW4

Passage: Grey Heron 1N, Manx Shearwater 9.

Present: Curlew 1, Turnstone 1, Chiffchaff 1, Starling 25+

16th June

Weather: largely dry and overcast with occasional light drizzle but brighter latter part of the day. SW4-5

Present: Starling 40

15th June

Weather: Generally bright with occasional showers in the afternoon.  SW mainly 4.

Surprise of the day was a Grasshopper Warbler caught in the Bain trap, a late spring migrant or early autumn one, either way the first June record?  Spotted Flycatcher and Blackbird also appeared

Passage: Common Scoter 47N, Swift 9.

Present: Black-headed Gull 2, Starling 25, Grasshopper Warbler 1, Chiffchaff 2, Spotted Flycatcher 1, Blackbird 1.

14th June

Weather: Dry and bright with light variable winds

Passage: Manx Shearwater 7N, Swift 1.

Present: Grey Heron 1, Black-headed Gull 2, Starling 30.

13th June

Weather: Dry, warm & sunny until later afternoon when several showers some heavy.  SW 2 or less.

The main news of the day was the confirmation that a pair of Cormorant are nesting on Rona, the first confirmed breeding of this species on the May.  Several reports from the late 19th & early 20th century mention breeding of shags and cormorants but the names appeared interchangeable.  A pair was seen with nest material in 1938 but no other reports.  Other breeding news related to the first Arctic Tern chick.

Passage: Manx Shearwater 181 (inc flock of 57), Common Scoter 17, Teal 2, Black-headed Gull 2, Redpoll 1N.

Present: Starling 90, Woodpigeon 3, Shelduck 2.

12th June

Weather: Mainly bright and sunny. SW 4/5 inc 6 gusting 7 at times around midday before easing 4/5.

Present: Starling 27, Woodpigeon 1, Chiffchaff 1, Peregrine 1, Shelduck 1, Grey Heron 1.

11th June

Weather: Dry and sunny until midday.  Then blustery showers.  SW 2 inc 4.

An unseasonal Golden Plover was near Three Tarn Nick very early morning while 11 Greylag Geese flew north.  The first juvenile Starlings of the summer appeared with 2 early morning increasing to 22 by midday.  A Hummingbird Hawkmoth flew through the visitor centre.

Passage: Greylag Geese 11N

Present: Golden Plover 1, Roseate Tern 1, Starling 22, Turnstone 5.

10th June

Weather: Rain off and on from 6am until early afternoon when largely sunny.  SW 2 am then S 4.

Present: Starling 2, Roseate Tern 1, Black-headed Gull 1, Chiffchaff 1.

9th June:

Weather: Dry and bright to start then rain from 9am until early afternoon with showers to follow.  W4 decreasing 2 by evening.

Four Goosander south passed the west cliffs were notable.

Present: Spotted Flycatcher 1, Chiffchaff 3, Starling 2, Linnet 1, Woodpigeon 2.

8th June

Weather: SE3 dry and bright until 10am when overcast and rain until early evening.

Most notable were the 108 Manx Shearwater logged passing the isle.

Passage: Manx Shearwater 108, Common Scoter 26

Present: Wheatear 1, Starling 2, Spotted Flycatcher 1, Linnet 1, House Martin 1.

7th June

Weather: NW5/6 decreasing W3 then W5. Bright and sunny but cold wind.

Similar range of birds to yesterday but slightly more migrants appeared with the rain having abated.  The Nightjar was seen twice in flight while the Red-backed Shrike roamed the middle of the isle.  A Roseate Tern was again in the roost.

Present: Nightjar 1, Red-backed Shrike 1m, Spotted Flycatcher 4, Chiffchaff 3, Willow Warbler 2, Whitethroat 2, Wheatear 1, Tree Pipit 2, Roseate Tern 1.

 Red-backed Shrike (John Nadin)

6th June

Weather: Light and variable winds until mid-evening when NW 4. Rain, varying in intensity, throughout the day with very poor visibility at times.

The day began early just after 6am with the discovery of a Nightjar sat on a log in the rain near the Bain Trap.  The 14th record for the isle with the last records in 2009 & 2013.  Later in the morning a Quail was flushed near the Helipad while three Spotted Flycatchers and a Tree Pipit were seen.  Mid-afternoon a male Red-backed Shrike (1st of year) was seen near the Main Light and later along Holyman’s Road.

Present/arrivals: Nightjar 1, Quail 1, Red-backed Shrike 1m, Spotted Flycatcher 3, Chiffchaff 3, Wheatear 1, Tree Pipit 1, Turnstone 8.

 Nightjar (Mark Newell)

5th June

Weather: SE4 with rain until midday.  Bright and sunny afternoon with calm conditions before cloud and light rain at dusk.

Passage: Manx Shearwater 2

Present: Whitethroat 1, Spotted Flycatcher 1, Goldcrest 1, Wheatear 1, Chiffchaff 2, Turnstone 12

4th June

Weather: Warm, dry and sunny with a light southerly for most of the day.

A dark phase Arctic Skua off the north end, the first of the year was harassing kittiwakes.  The first Shelduck ducklings were on Rona while a Spotted Flycatcher was a new arrival.

Passage: Manx Shearwater 3, Red-throated Diver 1W, Common Scoter 4N.

Present: Black-headed Gull 1, Woodpigeon 2, Chiffchaff 2, Spotted Flycatcher 1, Wheatear 1f, Arctic Skua 1dp.

 Shelduck ducklings (Tim Morley)

3rd June

Weather: S1 calm evening. Clear, warm & sunny until, late morning when the harr rolled in. Rain for a time from mid-afternoon until early evening.

A Quail was flushed from near the Low Light leading to speculation as to whether it could be the same bird seen last month.  A Roseate Tern was seen early and late in the day.

Passage: Manx Shearwater 19N, Common Scoter 21N

Present: Roseate Tern 1, Quail 1, Peregrine 1imm, Turnstone 1, Wheatear 1f, Black-headed Gull 2, Starling 1.

2nd June

Weather: SW2 overcast morning brighter afternoon.

Highlight was a Minke Whale in calm conditions late afternoon.

Passage: Common Scoter 4W

Present: Goldcrest 1, Wheatear 1f, Starling 1, Peregrine 1, Black-headed Gull 3, Woodpigeon 1.

1st June

Weather: SW3 decreasing 1 from late afternoon.

A notable day for the first incubating Sandwich Terns while several groups of Canada Geese were seen heading north.  A Ring Ouzel was a late spring date and only the fourth in June.

Passage: Canada Goose 65N.

Present: Ring Ouzel 1, Spotted Flycatcher 1, Chiffchaff 1.

30th May

Weather: Calm then SW2 increasing 5 by mid-afternoon. Rain early morning then cloud clearing mid-afternoon.

A singing male Common Rosefinch was in the Low Light bushes and ultimately caught, presumably the same bird seen on Sunday.  The second Roseate Tern of the year was seen in Kirkhaven, bearing a ring it was ringed as a chick on Coquet Island, Northumberland in 2014. News was also received of the previous Roseate Tern this year which was ringed on Rockabill, Ireland in 2010.

Passage: Barnacle Goose 4W, Black-headed Gull 1, House Martin 1.

Present/arrival: Common Rosefinch 1, Spotted Flycatcher 2, Garden Warbler 1, Roseate Tern 1, Wheatear 2f.

 Roseate Tern (David Steel)
 Common Rosefinch (Nicci Cox)

29th May

Weather: ESE 2 with light rain on and off from late morning.

Despite the promising conditions nothing appeared to materialise that was new to the isle.

Present: Wheatear 2, Goldcrest 1, Chiffchaff 2, Turnstone 3.

28th May

Weather: W4/5 decreasing late morning then becoming SE2 from mid-afternoon.  Clear morning, brief light rain early afternoon then mainly clear again.

Only one definite arrival but a notable one with a male first summer Common Rosefinch around the North Horn early afternoon, at times in song.  Little Tern was again noted early morning.

Present: Common Rosefinch 1m, Wheatear 1f, Goldcrest 1, Chiffchaff 5, Willow warbler 1, Sedge Warbler 1, Lesser Whitethroat 1, Turnstone 10, Redshank 1.

 Common Rosefinch (John Harrison)

27th May

Weather: Light ESE except for brief West for a time in the evening then NE. Bright and clear morning before cloud early afternoon then heavy rain & thunderstorm for a time early evening.

The all too brief highlight were two Little Tern over the Main Light, the first record since 2004.  A scattering of arrivals, mainly Spotted Flycatchers and yet more Hummingbird Hawkmoths (4+).

Passage: Little Tern 2, Dunlin 1N, House Martin 1S

Present/arrivals: Lesser Whitethroat 1, Wheatear 2, chiffchaff 2, Goldcrest 1, Willow warbler 1, Whinchat 1m, Spotted Flycatcher 3.

26th May

Weather: Light SE becoming force 4-5 by late morning. Clear and sunny throughout.

No clear arrivals with a Hummingbird Hawkmoth again the highlight, this time near the guillemot hides.  While 21 Barnacle Geese flew north early morning and were then seen flying south late afternoon so had presumably been lurking nearby.

Passage: House Martin 2, Swift 1N, Barnacle Geese 21 N&S,

Present: Robin 1, Chiffchaff 3, Willow Warbler 1, Whitethroat 1, Sedge Warbler 1, Willow Warbler 1.  

 Hummingbird Hawkmoth (Mark Newell)

25th May

Weather: Calm morning then SE from midday becoming force 3 by late pm.  Clear, sunny and very warm.

South-east winds and migrants arrive. A Hummingbird Hawkmoth on Palpitation Brae was the first record for a few years overshadowing the second Quail of the year seen at Altarstanes then at the North Horn. 

Present/arrival: Quail 1, Spotted Flycatcher 1, Chiffchaff 5, Willow Warbler 2, Goldcrest 1, White Wagtail 1, Wheatear 2, Woodpigeon 4, Tree Pipit 1.

Insects: Hummingbird Hawkmoth 1, Painted Lady 1, Red Admiral 5, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Large White 1, White-tailed Bumblebee.

24th May

Weather: SW3-4 inc 5 mid-afternoon then SW3. Mainly clear and sunny.

Passage: Linnet 1N,

Present/arrivals: Whimbrel 1, Wheatear 4, Carrion Crow 3, Whitethroat 1, Goldcrest 1, Chiffchaff 4, Willow Warbler 1, White Wagtail 1, Woodpigeon 2, Peregrine 1imm.

 White Wagtail (Iain Bainbridge)

23rd May

Weather: SW4 decreasing 2 by evening.  Bright morning, more overcast afternoon with light rain early evening.

Most notable event was a Collared Dove calling on the Bain Trap, the first of the year.

Passage: Manx Shearwater 3N, Swallow 4N, House Martin 1N.

Present/arrival: Sedge Warbler 2, Goldcrest 1, Chiffchaff 2, Wheatear 2, Black-headed Gull 1, Collared Dove 1, Carrion Crow 1.

 Collared Dove attempting to resemble an auk (Michael Pettipher)

22nd May

Weather: SE2 increasing SE4 veering SW2. Bright morning with light rain for an hour or so around midday.

Quiet morning but the rain brought in a scattering of migrants including a French ringed Sedge Warbler.  The first puffins carrying fish were seen indicating hatchlings.

Present/arrivals: Wheatear 2, Chiffchaff 2, Willow Warbler 1, Spotted Flycatcher 1, Tree Pipit 1, Redstart 1f, Whitethroat 1, Sedge Warbler 2, Woodpigeon 2, Turnstone 6. 

21st May

Weather: SW 2 or less. Mainly high cloud with some clearer spells

Two year ticks in the space of minutes and both scarce species for the island.  First up were four immature Mute Swans flying north over the island before settling on the sea about half way to Crail, only the second spring record and ninth in total.  While chasing the swans north a first-summer Little Gull was flying around the Loch calling before settling with kittiwakes on the south side.  Meanwhile the first Arctic Tern eggs of the year were discovered.

Passage: Tree Pipit 1N, Mute Swan 4N, Red-throated Diver 2W, Teal 2W, Common Scoter 7W, Manx Shearwater 31N, Black-headed Gull 2.

Present: Little Gull 1, Wheatear 4, Chiffchaff 6, Blackcap 1f, Goldcrest 1, Shelduck 3.

 Little Gull (Mark Newell)
 Mute Swans! (Mark Newell)

20th May

Weather: light rain for most of day but clearing to a bright evening.  Mainly SW 2 or less.

Only one arrival but what a bird; the springs second Hawfinch (male) but only tenth ever record.  Seen flying into the Low Trap and duly caught. 

Passage: Manx Shearwater 9N 2S, Gannet 2607W in 1 hour, Crossbill 2N.

Present/arrival: Hawfinch 1m, Chiffchaff 4, Willow Warbler 2, Goldcrest 1, Wheatear 4, Whimbrel 1.

 Hawfinch (Harry Scott)

19th May

Weather: Calm morning with bright but largely overcast conditions. Light SE from mid-afternoon with light rain from 1700.

Passage: Common Scoter 57N 4W, Manx Shearwater 3N, Red-throated Diver 1N, Swallow 3N, Linnet 1S.

Present: Willow Warbler 1, Chiffchaff 4, Goldcrest 1, Wheatear 3, Peregrine 1.

18th May

Weather: again largely calm with a slight SE again from mid-afternoon.  Clear and sunny, possibly the warmest day of the year.

Passage: Swift 5N, Common Scoter 22W.

Present: Goldcrest 1, Blackcap 1f, Chiffchaff 4, Wheatear 3, Peregrine 1, Woodpigeon 2.

17th May

Weather: Virtually calm all day, with a whiff of SE from mid-afternoon.  Bright and mainly sunny.

A couple new arrivals in the form of a Black Redstart and Goldcrest.

Present/arrivals: Black Redstart 1, Blackcap 1f, Cormorant 37, Wheatear 4, Blackbird 1, Chiffchaff 3, Willow Warbler 2, Goldcrest 1, Whitethroat 1, White Wagtail 1f.

16th May

Weather: SW3 increasing SW5 by mid-morning then SW 3 by evening.  Mainly clear and sunny with some cloud spells and light rain.

No apparent arrivals on the passerine front but a female-type Marsh Harrier flew south over the isle early morning.

Passage: Marsh Harrier 1S, Linnet 1N.

Present: Chiffchaff 4, Willow Warbler 1, Garden Warbler 2, Blackcap 1f, Wheatear 5, Tree Pipit 1, Blackbird 1f, Goldfinch 1, Grey Heron 1, Peregrine 1f, Turnstone 12.  

15th May

Weather: SE4 decreasing S1. Rain from 0800 until 1500 then occasional light showers.

Despite the wind direction there didn’t appear to be any new arrivals.  However, the first Roseate Tern of the year was in Kirkhaven for most of the afternoon.

Passage: Common Scoter 5W, Black-headed Gull 1N.

Present/arrivals: Roseate Tern 1, Tree Pipit 2, Lesser Whitethroat 2, Wheatear 8, Whitethroat 1, Chiffchaff 5, Willow Warbler 3, Blackcap 2, Garden Warbler 1, Dunnock 1, Turnstone 6.

 Roseate Tern (Mark Newell)

14th May

Weather: SW 2-3. Overcast until mid-morning when clear, warm & sunny.

A bit of a clear out but still a good scattering of common migrants.  The first incubating Fulmar was noted.

Passage: Yellow Wagtail 1N, Siskin 1N, House Martin 6.

Present/arrivals: Redstart 1f, Garden Warbler 2, Blackcap 4, Whitethroat 4, Lesser Whitethroat 1, Sedge Warbler 2, Chiffchaff 10, Willow Warbler 10, Whinchat 1, Wheatear 6 (inc 1 Greenland), Spotted Flycatcher 4, Tree Pipit 3, Meadow Pipit 2, Woodpigeon 4, Blackbird 1f.

 Greenland Wheatear (Ian Halliday)

13th May

Weather: Calm becoming SW 5 for a time mid-afternoon then SW 3.  Harr and occasional heavy rain until early afternoon when clear.

The Red-breasted Flycatcher remained while a Belgium ringed Sedge Warbler was one of at least 12 present. No scarce arrivals but far more common migrants especially Whitethroat (16+) and Spotted Flycatcher (17+).

Passage: Swallow 6N, Sand Martin 1N, House Martin 4N.

Arrivals/present: Garden Warbler 2, Blackcap 8, Whitethroat 16, Sedge Warbler 12+, Willow Warbler 15, Chiffchaff 20, Lesser Whitethroat 4, Spotted Flycatcher 17+, Red-breasted Flycatcher 1, Stonechat 1, Whinchat 4, Tree Pipit 5, Meadow Pipit 4, Skylark 1, Wheatear 10, Redstart 1f, Robin 2, Dunnock 1, Blackbird 2, White Wagtail 2.


12th May

Weather: ESE 3. Clear morning, cloudy afternoon with dense harr in the evening.

A day for red breasted birds with a Robin for starters. Arguably the highlight was a stunning adult male Red-breasted Flycatcher found on Pilgrims Haven sporting a ring. Later in the morning the bird was caught with the ring coming from Sweden.  The third red chested bird was found at Altarstanes early in the afternoon with a flighty ‘eastern’ Subalpine Warbler, which was far less confiding than the flycatcher.  A fine supporting cast of common migrants brought the tally of flycatcher species to three.

Passage: Red-throated Diver 1W, Ringed Plover 1N, House Martin 3N, Redpoll 1N, Linnet 2S

Present/arrivals: Red-breasted Flycatcher 1, Pied Flycatcher 1m, Spotted Flycatcher 1, ‘Eastern’ Subalpine Warbler, Stonechat 1, Whinchat 5, Skylark 1, Wheatear 6, Grey Heron 1, Tree Pipit 4, Meadow Pipit 2.

 Red-breasted Flycatcher (David Stafford)
 'Eastern' Subalpine Warbler (David Stafford)

11th May

Weather: SE2 increasing 4 by mid-afternoon.  Clear morning and evening but a band of harr in early afternoon.

Light passage in the morning before the brief poor visibility dropped a few migrants including the first Spotted Flycatcher of the year.

Passage: Common Scoter 8N, House Martin 3N, Swallow 38, Swift 1, Tree Pipit 1N.

Present/arrivals: Spotted Flycatcher 2, Stonechat 1m, Whinchat 2, Wheatear 15, Blackbird 2, Willow Warbler 15, Chiffchaff 8, Dunnock 1, Robin 1, Blackcap 3, Lesser Whitethroat 2, Whitethroat 2, Sedge Warbler 2, Starling 1, Chaffinch 2, Common Sandpiper 1, Dunlin 1, Purple Sandpiper 1, Turnstone 9. 

10th May

Weather: Calm becoming SE2. Clear and sunny

It was a day for seeing and hearing Willow Warblers with at least 55 arriving but limited to the Low Light bushes, Main Light area and Low Trap.  Otherwise arrivals included a Black Redstart, Garden Warbler and 2 Common Sandpipers while light passage included the first Twite of the year and Rook.

Passage: Barnacle Goose 16N, Goosander 1mN, Common Scoter 25N, House Martin 1N, Sand Martin 3N, Swallow 10N, Swift 1N, Rook 1N, Twite 1N, Linnet 6N, Yellow wagtail 1N, Redpoll 3N, Black-headed Gull 1.

Present/arrivals: Willow Warbler 55, Chiffchaff 5, Whitethroat 4, Lesser Whitethroat 4, Blackcap 1f, Garden Warbler 1, Blackbird 2, Meadow Pipit 6, Common Sandpiper 2, Dunnock 1, Robin 1, Wheatear 6, Black Redstart 1.

 male Wheatear (Mark Newell)

9th May

Weather: SW2 or less becoming southerly 5. Clear.

Light passage in the morning and more seemingly breeding Swallows appeared.  Six Bottle-nosed Dolphins were seen passing the north of the isle.

Passage: Manx Shearwater 3N, Red-throated Diver 3N, Common Scoter 1N, Barnacle Goose 32N, Swallow 7, House Martin 4, Redpoll 1N, Goldfinch 2S, Sparrowhawk 1W, Carrion Crow 14N.

Present: Purple Sandpiper 55, Turnstone 8, Bonxie 1, Dunnock 1, Lesser Whitethroat 6, Whitethroat 2, Chiffchaff 10, Willow Warbler 2, Tree Pipit 1, Meadow Pipit 7, Skylark 1, Song Thrush 1, Blackcap 2f, Woodpigeon 3, Wheatear 7, Robin 1.

 Purple Sandpipers - four of the 55 present today (Mark Newell)

8th May

Weather: NNE5-6 with a massive swell.  Overcast morning and clear afternoon.

A day for admiring the sea state rather than successfully finding any new arrivals.  Most remaining migrants seemed to be feeding in the lee of Palpitation Brae with a male Redstart the smartest.

Passage: Common Scoter 13N

Present: Redstart 1m, Willow Warbler 3, Chiffchaff 7, Lesser Whitethroat 4, Whitethroat 2, Wheatear 5, Robin 1, Dunnock 1, Song Thrush 1, Siskin 1, Woodpigeon 2, Swallow 3, Tree Pipit 2, Turnstone 7, Purple Sandpiper 2.

 Lesser Whitethroat (Russell Nisbet)

7th May

Weather: NE 1 inc 5 by early afternoon. Full cloud cover with very light rain early morning, clearing from mid-morning.

Two male Redstart, Sedge Warbler & Fieldfare were new arrivals otherwise a similar selection.

Present: Chiffchaff 10, Willow Warbler 3, Lesser Whitethroat 10, Redstart 2m, Whinchat 1, Wheatear 8, Blackcap 3, Whitethroat 2, Robin 1, Brambling 1m, Fieldfare 1, Tree Pipit 3, Sedge Warbler 1, Whimbrel 1, Bonxie 1, Swallow 8, Meadow Pipit 12.

6th May

Weather: NE4 inc 5. Occasional cloudy periods but mainly clear & sunny.

Highlight was the first Swift of the year. Otherwise similar fare although the Quail after being flushed in the morning was seen incredibly well in the evening out in the autumn near the Byres.  Wood Warbler still present while a gaggle of Barnacle Geese were late.

Passage: Swift 1N, Barnacle Geese 7N, Manx Shearwater 1N, Common Scoter 9W.

Present: Quail 1, Wood Warbler 1, Lesser Whitethroat 12, Whitethroat 3, Blackcap 3, Chiffchaff 15, Willow Warbler 5, Wheatear 15, Whinchat 2, Robin 1, Dunnock 1, Redpoll 3, Brambling 1m, Wren 3, Tree Pipit 3, Meadow Pipit 5, Sparrowhawk 1f, Woodpigeon 1.

 Quail (David Steel)

5th May

Weather: NE3 inc 5 by mid-morning. Clear & sunny until patchy cloud in evening.

First Common Terns of the year.  Wood Warbler, Ring Ouzel and Yellow Wagtail still present along with a good selection of migrants but little new.

Passage: Manx Shearwater 1N, Common Scoter 5N.

Present: Swallow 2, Lesser Whitethroat 13, Blackcap 3, Whitethroat 5, Wood Warbler 1, Willow Warbler 5, Chiffchaff 10, Goldcrest 1, Wheatear 5, Tree Pipit 5, Redstart 1f, Yellow Wagtail 1, Lesser Redpoll 2, Merlin 1, Whinchat 2, Brambling 3, Ring Ouzel 1, Redwing 1, Song Thrush 1, Peregrine 2.

4th May

Weather: NE5 decreasing 4 later.  Clear and sunny, cool

Similar assortment to yesterday but generally less.  Presumably the same Quail as on 1st was flushed from South Plateau while undertaking the all-isle puffin count.  A Ring Ouzel was new while Brambling increased to 3 and a Yellow Wagtail was probably new.  Wood Warbler was again seen at Three Tarn Nick.

Present: Lesser Whitethroat 18, Whitethroat 5, Blackcap 5, Willow Warbler 8, Chiffchaff 15, Pied Flycatcher 1m, Whinchat 3, Redstart 2, Black Redstart 1m, Wheatear 15, Redpoll 1, Linnet 2, Quail 1, Kestrel 1m, Tree Pipit 3, Merlin 1f, Yellow Wagtail 1, Wood Warbler 1, Ring Ouzel 1, Brambling 3, Swallow 2. 


 Wood Warbler (Mark Newell)

3rd May

Weather: ENE 4-5. Clear and sunny, cool.

The highlight would be the rediscovery of the Hawfinch in the Top Garden early morning along with a brief singing male Yellowhammer (first of the year).  Otherwise a similar selection to yesterday with slightly lower numbers although single Merlin and Sparrowhawk were keeping the migrants on their toes.

Present/arrivals: Hawfinch 1, Arctic Tern 10, Wheatear 16, Blackcap 5, Goldcrest 1, Redstart 4, Black Redstart 1m, Whinchat 3, Lesser Redpoll 4, Grasshopper Warbler 1, Garden Warbler 2, Lesser Whitethroat 20, Wood Warbler 2, Willow Warbler 10, Chiffchaff 25, Whitethroat 5, Tree Pipit 5, Meadow Pipit 9, Fieldfare 3, Song Thrush 2, Pied Flycatcher 1m, Brambling 2, Sparrowhawk 1, Merlin 1, Kestrel 1.

 Sparrowhawk (Joe Turner)
 Grasshopper Warbler (Russell Nisbet)

2nd May

Weather: SE 2 or less becoming E

So yesterday was the aperitif.  A Hawfinch (8th record) was looking like the star bird seen flying down the east side mid-afternoon until 30 min later a male Golden Oriole was seen flying down Holymans Road. Only the fifth record and first for 20 years.  A fine supporting cast included the first Pied Flycatcher and Yellow Wagtail of the year.

Passage: Golden Oriole 1s.

Present/arrivals: Hawfinch 1, Arctic Tern 10, Wheatear 30, Blackcap 12, Goldcrest 1, Redstart 6, Black Redstart 1m, Whinchat 5, Siskin 1m, Lesser Redpoll 5, Grasshopper Warbler 2, Garden Warbler 1, Lesser Whitethroat 20, Wood Warbler 1, Willow Warbler 55, Chiffchaff 50, Whitethroat 7, Tree Pipit 10, Meadow Pipit 25, Fieldfare 8, Redwing 1, Song Thrush 2, Pied Flycatcher 1m, Brambling 2.


1st May

Weather: SE 3-4 backing E3. Clear morning with cloud and poor visibility from early afternoon.

More migrants which increased as the day wore on.  Year ticks with a Quail, 2 flyover pairs of Goosander, Whinchat (5), Brambling (2) & Wood Warbler while there were impressive numbers of warblers.

Passage: Black-headed Gull 5S, Sand Martin 5N, Swallow 10, House Martin 3

Arrivals/present: Quail 1, Arctic Tern 20, Wheatear 18, Blackcap 8, Goldcrest 4, Redstart 6, Black Redstart 1m, Siskin 1m, Lesser Redpoll 2, Garden Warbler 1, Lesser Whitethroat 30, Wood Warbler 1, Willow Warbler 45, Chiffchaff 50, Whitethroat 6, Tree Pipit 3, Meadow Pipit 30, Mistle Thrush 1, Fieldfare 1, Redwing 1, Song Thrush 2.

 Black Redstart (MarkNewell)

30th April

Weather: SE 4-5. Overcast morning mainly clear afternoon.

Finally we have a good spring fall.  Probably the most species recorded in a single day this year and included the first Grasshopper Warbler, Garden Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat and Common Sandpiper of the year.  Wheatears were the easily the most numerous but there were birds in any sheltered spot.

Passage: Dunlin 1N, Swallow 5, Sandwich Tern 2, Arctic Tern 1, Linnet 5, Starling 1.

Present/arrivals: Ring Ouzel 1m, Chiffchaff 15, Willow Warbler 10, Blackcap 4, Mistle Thrush 2, Fieldfare 12, Song Thrush 1, Meadow Pipit 10, Tree Pipit 1, Whitethroat 5, Lesser Whitethroat 1, Grasshopper Warbler 2, Wheatear 45, Robin 1, Black Redstart 1f, Redstart 1f, Goldcrest 6, Common Sandpiper 1, Jack Snipe 1, Snipe 1. 

29th April

Weather: Light SE increasing to force 4 by mid-afternoon.  Bright morning with increasing cloud and decreasing visibility.

A couple Willow Warblers were the only obvious arrivals early morning but more common migrants trickled in as the day wore on.  The first whitethroat and Arctic Tern of the year were the highlights.

Passage: Swallow 8N, House Martin 1N, Linnet 3N, Starling 5, Sandwich Tern 6, Arctic Tern 1.

Present/arrivals: Willow Warbler 5, Chiffchaff 4, Whimbrel 1, Snipe 1, Wheatear 4.


28th April

Weather: Mainly light SE

The first proper winds with an easterly component failed to deliver too much…yet.  Highlight a Great Skua.

27th April

Weather: NW-N 2 increasing 4/5 for a time then NNE 3. Light shower early afternoon but mainly clear.

The first Sedge Warbler of the year was in the Bain Trap while a light passage of migrants included a Jackdaw.

Passage: Jackdaw 1, Goldfinch 4N, Linnet 3N, Swallow 3N, Meadow Pipit 1N.

Present: Sedge Warbler 1, Snipe 1, Wheatear 1, Turnstone 13, Redshank 3, Purple Sandpiper 1, Crow 4.

26th April

Weather: Northerly 4 decreasing to variable 2 or less. Clear and sunny until early afternoon when high full cloud cover.

After yesterday’s impossible conditions a much improved day, the highlight the first Great Skua of the year first seen flying north past the west cliffs before presumably being the same bird killing and eating a Herring Gull off Kirkhaven.

Passage: Redshank 3N, Sandwich Tern 2N.

Present/arrivals: Wheatear 1f, Swallow 1, Snipe 2, Whimbrel 1, Willow warbler 1, Redwing 1, Cormorant 40, Great Skua 1.

24th April

Weather: W 2-3 increasing and veering NW 6 early afternoon before decreasing NW3-4 by evening.  Light sleet/hail flurries.

The most notable sighting of the day were two Swallows which lingered around Fluke Street suggesting they might be the first returning breeders.

Passage: Sandwich Tern 2N, Meadow Pipit 1N, Linnet 3N, Goldfinch 1N.

Present/arrivals: Swallow 2, Snipe 2, Woodpigeon 2, Wheatear 1, Turnstone 5, Redshank 1, Whimbrel 1.

23rd April            

Weather: W2-3 increasing W5 from early afternoon.  Mainly clear.

After the quiet day yesterday there was much more activity noted today.  Highlight was a rare spring record of Jack Snipe flushed from near the Main Light where it joined a Common Snipe at Three Tarn Nick.  The second Sandwich Tern of the year flew south while there was a more pronounced passage north of finches.  Goldcrest, Willow Warbler, singing Skylark and Wheatear were all new.

Passage: Sandwich Tern 1S, Goldfinch 4N, Siskin 4N, Linnet 6N, Meadow Pipit 24N, Tree Pipit 1N, Swallow 1N, Sand Martin 3N, Rook 2N, Common Scoter 4.

Present/arrivals: Goldcrest 1, Willow Warbler 1, Sparrowhawk 1, Wheatear 1, Skylark 1, Jack Snipe 1, Snipe 1.

22nd April

Weather: W3 becoming variable 2 or less. Dry, high broken cloud.

A male Blackcap was present again while the first Razorbill egg of the season was found at Bishops Cove.

Passage: Linnet 4N, Swallow 1N, Meadow Pipit 6N, Carrion Crow 5N, Curlew 1S.

Present: Blackcap 1m, Woodpigeon 2.

21st April

Weather: SW5 decreasing to almost calm from 14:00. High cloud until 12:30 when a cold front with rain passed over from the north. Clear from 14:00

The band of rain produced a group of Wheatear with six noted.  Otherwise passage was very light.

Passage: Turnstone 30s, Sand Martin 1N, Whimbrel 1N, Swallows 2N.

Present/arrivals: Wheatear 6, Willow Warbler 5, Chiffchaff 1, Blackcap 1m.

20th April

Weather: SW 3 increasing W5 from late morning. Clear and sunny all day.

Highlight was a male Common Redstart which was caught in the Low Trap.  Only light passage today but all three hirundines were noted.  A Buzzard which eventually flew south was the second of the year while single Glaucous and Iceland Gulls were seen at roost.

Passage: Buzzard 1S, Swallow 5N, Sand Martin 3N, House Martin 1N, Linnet 4N, Goldfinch 2N, Meadow Pipit 15N.

Present/arrivals: Redstart 1m, Blackbird 2, Song Thrush 2, Woodpigeon 3, Chiffchaff 3, Glaucous Gull 1, Iceland Gull 1.

 Redstart (David Steel)

19th April

Weather: SW3. Cold but slightly overcast before clearing mid-morning to leave a warm day out of the wind.

Absolutely nothing early on before things suddenly improved from 11am with a few warblers arriving, the first Tree Pipit of the year and significant Meadow Pipit passage for the next 3.5 hours totalling 431.  The first Whimbrel of the year also dropped in mid-afternoon.

Passage: Meadow Pipit 431N, Swallow 5N, Tree Pipit 1N, Siskin 1N, Linnet 4N, Goldfinch 2N, Barnacle Goose 110N.

Present/arrivals: Blackcap pair, Willow Warbler 1, Chiffchaff 4, Wheatear 1f, Robin 1, Blackbird 1, Carrion Crow 4, Wren 4+, Whimbrel 1, Woodpigeon 2, Redshank 1.

18th April

Weather: Light easterly veering south easterly from mid-afternoon.  Clear and sunny morning with high cloud drifting in from mid-afternoon.

A Swift was potentially the earliest record for the isle but other than a Sand Martin very little was passing through.  The first incubating Guillemot was seen.

Passage: Swift 1, Sand Martin 1N, Greylag Goose 2N, Common Scoter 2N, Linnet 3N, Goldfinch 1N

Present: Blackbird 1, Purple Sandpiper 1, Redshank 2, Curlew 1, Peregrine 2.

17th April

Weather: Very light westerly early morning becoming calm until late afternoon when northerly 5 until dark.  Mainly clear with cloudy periods very a few drops of rain.

The highlight of the day was all too brief with what was almost certainly a Humpback Whale tail fluke seen briefly off the east side.  The first sitting Eiders were noted.  Otherwise little new other than a fly-over Golden Plover, the first of the year.

Passage: Golden Plover 1, Linnet 5, Common Gull 1.

Present: Blackbird 2, Turnstone 4.

16th April

Weather: Clear morning with cold, westerly force 3. Cloud rolling in late morning with light rain for a time. Clearing early afternoon and wind backing easterly.

Very light passage in the morning with four Swallows the highlight.  A Short-eared Owl was seen again.  First Great Black-backed Gull egg.

Passage: Swallow 4N, Linnet 10N, Goldfinch 1N, Red-throated Diver 1W.

Present: Starling 1, Redshank 2, Peregrine 1, Short-eared Owl 1, Cormorant 47.

 First Great Black-backed Gull egg

15th April

Weather: Bright and largely clear. Westerly force 5 easing slightly late afternoon.

The strong winds seemed to prevent much from arriving or passing by.

Passage: Meadow Pipit 12, Linnet 2.

Present: Peregrine 1, Redshank 1, Turnstone 5, Wren 3, Blackbird 1.

14th April

Weather: Bright with cloud mid-afternoon bringing very light rain for a time before clearing. Light SW wind force 3 increasing 4-5 by evening.

Highlights: The first Sandwich Tern of the year was noted while a Hooded Crow with five Carrion Crow was a welcome addition to the year list.  An Osprey flew north.

Passage: Common Scoter 8N, Red-throated Diver 1N, Manx Shearwater 1N, Black-headed Gull 1N, Osprey 1N, Goldfinch 3N, Redpoll 1N, Linnet 13N, Siskin 2N, Meadow Pipit 46N.

Present/arrivals: Willow Warbler 5, Chiffchaff 1, Short-eared Owl 1, snipe 1.

3rd April

Weather: A bright, clear calm morning with high cloud from midday and an increasing south westerly.

Highlight: The most notable record so far this year with a Firecrest found in the Low Light bushes, the fifth April record, with at least six Goldcrest.  Elsewhere a Stock Dove was the first record since 2013 and seven Jackdaw and a Greenfinch were the first of the year.

Present/Arrivals: Firecrest 1, Goldcrest 12, Jackdaw 7, Stock Dove 1, Greenfinch 1N, Woodpigeon 4, Chiffchaff 2, Robin 2, Dunnock 1, Blackbird 2, Redwing 3, Linnet 6N, Goldfinch 2N.


 Firecrest (David Steel)
2nd April

Weather: A stunning day with light south westerlies. 

Highlight was a Lapland Bunting seen briefly near the Bain Trap, a rare spring record.  Otherwise a few Goldcrest were still present with Goldfinch & Linnet over.

1st April

A Blackcap was the first of the year.

31st March

A Crossbill was a good record so soon in the season while seven Whooper Swans flew north

29th March

An Osprey over was a good early record as was a White Wagtail.  Glaucous Gull and Black Redstart were seen again.

28th March

Ring Ouzel, the first of the year, with five present along with 10 Chiffchaff, 2 Wheatear, 57 Siskin, 6 Redpoll, a Black Redstart and two immature Glaucous Gull. 5 Woodcock, 50 Redwing and 6 Fieldfare

26th March

The second Wheatear of the spring was present and a Goldfinch flew over.

25th March

Male Black Redstart remains

24th March

A stunning adult male Black Redstart appeared while the female type was still present.  At least three Siskin and a Linnet flew over while four Short-eared Owls were present.

23rd March

Weather: North easterly force 4 decreased through the morning to almost calm by afternoon. Early morning light rain quickly abated to leave a bright but largely overcast day.  

Present/arrivals:  A female type Black Redstart appeared along with three Chiffchaff, the first of the year.  Up to 10 Goldcrest arrived along with a Mistle Thrush and a few more Blackbirds.  A Snow Bunting flew over.  Three Short-eared Owls were present.


22nd March

Weather: overcast with moderate rain from mid-afternoon. Light NE increasing through the morning to force 5.

Present: A Wheatear was the first of the year and a Stonechat were present while a Sparrowhawk flew low over Fluke St.

5th March

Weather: Light early morning rain cleared to leave a bright day with broken cloud.  South westerly force 3-4 eased to virtually calm from early morning onwards.

Highlights: At least 15 Stonechats remained on the island overnight but with a bright day most appeared to trickle away as the day wore on.  The Black Redstart also remained while a Snow Bunting dropped in beside the Low Trap for a short while. Two Fieldfare were new while 5 Skylark passed over as did a skein of 46 Pink-footed Geese all going north.  The day ended with the year’s first Iceland Gull, a third winter, on Rona.

Passage: Skylark 5N, Pink-footed Goose 46N.

Present/arrivals: Iceland Gull 1 (3w), Black Redstart 1, Stonechat 15, Snow Bunting 1, Starling 1, Sparrowhawk 1, Peregrine 1, Fieldfare 2, Robin 5, Wren 3, Blackbird 1, Teal 24, Redshank 1, Curlew 60, Grey Heron 1, Purple Sandpiper 1, Turnstone 1, Carrion Crow 1.

 Third winter Iceland Gull (Mark Newell)
 Snow Bunting (Mark Newell)

4th March

Weather: overnight rain easing as the morning progressed only to be replaced by harr, visibility slightly improved late afternoon.  Brisk easterly overnight easing to almost calm from mid-morning.

Highlights: even this early in the season an easterly breeze brings a significant fall to the island, even if it only composed two species.  A first winter male Black Redstart was accompanied by at least 19 Stonechats almost all between the Byres and St Andrews Well.  To put the number in context the previous record day count of Stonechat is six.  Elsewhere eight Short-eared Owls were present.

Present/Arrivals: Stonechat 19, Black Redstart 1imm M, Short-eared Owl 8, Starling 1, Snipe 1, Blackbird 1, Robin 3, Song Thrush 3, Wren 1, Meadow Pipit 1, Pied Wagtail 2, Kestrel 1, Shelduck 1, Turnstone 3, cormorant 25.

 One of 19 Stonechats present (Mark Newell)

Tuesday 28th February

Peregrine 1, Kestrel male, Curlew 63, Redshank 3, Woodcock 1, Short-eared Owl 5 at roost, Black-headed Gull 4,  Song Thrush 1, Robin 4, Wren 6+, Carrion Crow 1, Wood Pigeon 1

Monday 27th February

Teal 3, Peregrine 1, Kestrel male, Merlin 1 immature dead found in Top Trap, Curlew 51, Redshank 3, Snipe 1, Common Gull 1, LBB Gull small numbers back, Glaucous Gull immature at roost,  Short-eared Owl 4 at roost, Skylark, Song Thrush 2,Robin 4, Wren 6+, Carrion Crow 1, Wood Pigeon 1, Rock Pipit 25, Pied Wagtail 1.       

23rd January

Red-throated Diver 1N, Common Scoter 2 off north end, Shelduck pair, Snipe 1, Puffin - winter plumage bird off east side, Short-eared Owl 4 at Low Light bushes, otherwise quiet with very light scattering of robins, wrens.

17th January

Limited coverage but at least five Bottle-nosed Dolphins were off the east side while a Little Auk was off the north end.

16th January 2017

Not surprisingly little change from yesterday however a few additions to the year list.  The highlight being five Sanderling passed South Ness while Purple Sandpiper and Black-headed Gull were also seen.  A Woodcock and Redwing were the first birds ringed this year.

Passage: Sanderling 5

Present: Long-tailed Duck 1f, Sparrowhawk, Turnstone 6, Purple Sandpiper 1, Short-eared Owl 5, Woodcock 1, Redwing 4, Robin 2, Grey Heron 2, Kittiwake 20, Common Gull 5, Black-headed Gull 5.

 Woodcock with uncharacteristically short bill (MarkNewell)
 Shags at sunset (Mark Newell)

15th January 2017

A full day of coverage failed to reveal much more ashore but a few good additions on the sea with a Long-tailed Duck and a Red-necked Grebe (presumably the same bird as in December).  Five Whooper Swans flew north as did a Linnet.

Passage: Whooper Swan 5, Linnet.

Present: Short-eared Owl 6+, Sparrowhawk 1, Peregrine 1, Woodcock 1, Teal 17, Long-tailed Duck 1f, Red-necked Grebe 1, Kittiwake 3, Redwing 4, Blackbird 3, Song Thrush 2, Wren 5.

 Long-tailed Duck (Mark Newell)

14th January 2017

The first day of presence on the isle and a general lack of passerines despite the cold conditions on the mainland.  A young male Sparrowhawk may have been responsible given the Blackbird lucky escape witnessed.  Highlight was a first winter Glaucous Gull seen at South Ness then what was assumed to be the same on Rona.  At least 4 Short-eared Owl are present.

Passage: Pink-footed Geese 60s

Present: Glaucous Gull 1, Short-eared Owl 4, Peregrine 1, Sparrowhawk 1, Redwing 1, Song Thrush 2, Blackbird 2, Wren 3, Rock Pipit 10, Curlew 20, Oystercatcher 30, Redshank 4, Turnstone 2, Common Gull 1, Kittiwake 1.

Alan Lauder,
Jan 20, 2014, 5:49 AM
Mark Newell,
Jan 31, 2015, 4:56 AM
Mark Newell,
Jan 16, 2016, 12:01 PM
Mark Newell,
Jan 14, 2017, 1:33 PM