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thirty first January to sixth February – A superb week for seawatching


31
January

30mph winds from the northwest, overcast but
dry

Three Woodpigeon continue to be seen around
Millcombe with a Water Rail, Chiffchaff and two Goldcrests
in Smelly Gully. After almost two weeks of absence a Merlin was seen hunting Skylark over South West Field. Further up
the island 10 Teal were on
Pondsbury. Off the East Coast were 2000 Kittiwakes
with two Mediterranean Gulls and 15 Common Gulls. The Red-throated Diver was still present
off Rat Island.

1
February

Bright with moderate winds continuing from
the west

The Lapwing
continues to be seen in Barton Field and an amazing 14 Snipe were seen across
the island, the majority in a wet flush in South West Field. Kittiwake numbers
are still high with an estimated 3500 off the East Coast. Only a single Common
Gull
was picked out amongst them though. A Great Northern Diver and
Red-throated Diver were also off the East Coast.

Two
Chiffchaff continue to be seen in Smelly Gully at the bottom of Millcombe
Valley, one ringed and one unringed.

Lapwing, Barton Field © Stuart Cossey

2
February

Mostly cloudy with moderate winds from the
north

It was a
busy morning in Millcombe with Song Thrush, Robin, Dunnock, Wren and Chaffinch
all singing. Two Chiffchaffs and five Goldcrest were also recorded. The first
Snow Bunting of the year was seen up past Threequarter Wall in the late
morning.

Song Thrush, Millcombe Valley © Stuart Cossey

There was an
obvious passage of gulls off the East Side and North End today with seven
Black-headed Gulls, five Mediterranean Gulls, 44 Common Gulls and a Little Gull
seen with an estimated 3350 Kittiwakes.

3
February

Dry and mild with continued 20mph winds from
the northwest

A slight
change was noted off the East Coast with only 2000 Kittiwakes, one Black-headed
Gull, one Mediterranean Gull and
six Common Gulls. The Merlin was
seen off Castle Hill flying high south to chase migrating Skylark back towards the island. The Merlin was unsuccessful this time but was seen amongst the Starlings in Tillage Field later in the
day. There was no sign of the Lapwing
in Barton Field despite multiple visits.

4
February

Bright with strong winds continuing from the
west

The Kittiwake flock remains off the East
Coast with an estimated 3500 present along with three Common Gulls. Back on
land, a Jack Snipe and a Snipe were
in a wet flush in Southwest Field.  Also
of note was a Merlin and ten Skylarks.

5
February

Overcast with winds from the west gusting at
40mph

The female Bullfinch that was last seen on the 24
January was back in Millcombe Valley. It remains elusive with only a brief
sighting before disappearing into dense scrub. Also in Milcombe were two Chiffchaffs, 16 Chaffinches including a small flock if 13 and a singing male.

At the edge
of the Landing Bay 3000+ Kittiwakes
were joined by one 1st winter Black-headed
Gull
, three Common Gulls and two 1st winter Little Gulls. A Great Northern
Diver
and 66 Shag were also
recorded.  

6
February

Overcast with some rain showers. Strong
winds continue from the west

Really
strong winds meant that there were few birds on the plateau. A total of six
Water Rail were recorded, four in Millcombe and two in St Helens Copse. Also in
Millcombe were 13 Chaffinch and a Chiffchaff and Goldcrest were in Smelly Gully.

The 3200
Kittiwake were still off the East Coast, though even with close views and
amazing light only two Common Gulls were seen with them. The two Great Northern
Divers
are still in the Landing Bay.

Kittiwakes, East Coast © Stuart Cossey

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