Snow Bunting brings year to a close

31st December 2010 – overcast/calm
A quick check over the calm sea produced 220 Eider and a group of 10 Shag.
Grounded Migrants
Early morning thrushes included 17 Redwing.
Diurnal Migration
A Snow Bunting flew through amongst a few Skylark and Meadow Pipit.
Raptors included 4 Short-eared Owl, Common Buzzard and Merlin. At least 3 Little Egret remain.
December is traditionally a quiet month for the observatory with few passerines on the move, however despite the weather limiting opportunities; this year has continued the theme of record breaking monthly totals with 140 birds of 11 species trapped and ringed, easily surpassing the previous best of 79 in 1995. Individual species totals involved Brambling (47), Linnet (28), Goldfinch (14), Blackbird (10), House Sparrow (8), Greenfinch (8), Starling (7), Woodcock (6), Chaffinch (6), Song Thrush (4) and Robin (2). The number of Brambling was especially remarkable; previous to 2010 the observatory had only trapped and ringed 9 individuals on the island.

An emergence of Winter Moths was evident with 13 individuals seen.

If visiting the island over the Christmas and New Year break please try to avoid disturbance to roosting and feeding birds, the recent severe weather has had a very noticeable affect, especially amongst wildfowl and waders which were beginning to struggle and now need to replenish fat reserves.