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seventh February to thirteenth February – A number of calm days for migration to start out


7
February

Overcast with dense fog from 10am

With lighter
winds there was a noticeable passage of Linnet
through the island with a flock of six in Millcombe and another 4 heard over Ackland’s
Moor and South West Fields.  The two Chiffchaffs remained in Smelly Gully
and two Great Northern Divers off the
East Coast. A total of 19 Mallards
were recorded during a full coverage of all the ponds on the island. Also of
note was the second Woodcock of the
year flushed along Quarter Wall.

8
February

Overcast with strong westerly winds

The female Bullfinch was seen briefly in the
Blackthorn below the Ugly by visiting birder Tim Jones before leaving the
island after yesterday’s helicopter cancelation. A single Great Northern Diver was still off the East Coast,
this time by White Beach. One Chiffchaff
and a Goldcrest were in Smelly Gully
at the bottom of Millcombe. At Pondsbury, ten Teal were counted and two Reed
Buntings were in the Gorse to the
south.

Teal, Pondsbury © Stuart Cossey

9
February

Fog and rain clearing slightly in the late
afternoon

The morning
census was quiet with few species seen in the fog. The Song Thrush, Chaffinch and Goldfinch are still singing in Millcombe and a Chiffchaff was in Smelly Gully. Once the
cloud lifted in the afternoon a Merlin
was seen chasing a Skylark through
the trees in Quarter Wall Copse. They were then lost to view as the Skylark disappeared below the cliff. A
single Linnet was heard over Quarter
Wall.

10
February

Bright and sunny but with strong westerly
winds

A few signs
of migration were seen today with two Meadow
Pipits flying high over Quarter Wall
and a total of six Linnets calling
as they flew over. The Merlin was
seen again, this time chasing Starlings
over the Village. In Millcombe two Goldcrests
were in the Sitka Spruce by the Ugly and a Chiffchaff
was still in  Smelly Gully.

Sightings
during an hour seawatch at 1pm included 1400 Kittiwakes, a Great Northern
Diver
in the Landing Bay and a Red-throated
Diver
swimming north.

11
February

Bright with light southerly winds.

It was an
excellent day for finch migration due to the calm morning. A total of 73 Linnets were seen, most were flying
over but a flock of 30 were briefly in Millcombe. Also on the move were four Brambling which went north along the
East Coast and 12 Chaffinches that
went south off Benjamin’s Chair. A Greenfinch
was heard calling as it flew low over the Village from the west. Meadow Pipits and Skylark were
also flying overhead today with totals of nine and 17 seen or heard.

Another
highlight was more close views of the Merlin
hunting a Skylark, this time low
over the top of Millcombe Valley.

Meadow Pipit, Paradise Row © Stuart Cossey

12
February

Mostly cloudy with strong south-westerly
winds

A complete
change to yesterday’s calm weather with 40mph winds battering the island. Very
few passerines were recorded, a Woodpigeon and Goldcrest were in Millcombe.
Only four Blackbirds were seen, ten lower than the 11th. Two Peregrines were
speeding around above Benjamin’s Chair whilst a Merlin was sticking low over
South West Field.

13 February

Rain all day with a few hours of light
showers

A short census
was completed late morning once the rain was slightly lighter. Only 15 species
were recorded including eight Chaffinch, three Redwing and a Goldcrest in
Millcombe.

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