Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Migrants at last!

Between poor coverage, the weather & bad luck, Manx Shearwater on 16th March was my only Brownstown migrant before the Easter weekend. On 30th March, the garden was barren – hardly any willow buds open and not a single phyllosc - but a walk down the main lane produced a couple of actively feeding Chiffchaffs in decent sunshine. I wondered if that might be my lot, but decided to check the sheltered (western) side of the lane hedge - a minute later, a flash of white, green and gold: Firecrest!

Only the second spring record for Brownstown (first for March), and the first here since autumn 2004, it performed well for the 10 or so birders who soon arrived (see photos by Paddy Dwan & Richard Zamora & video by Micheal Cowming). Further Chiffchaffs (about 15 in total on the Head), a Wheatear & 10+ Sandwich Terns added to the migrant tally, but no sign of Willow Warbler (and I missed a Blackcap). A few resident or winter species later in the day – notably 4 displaying Buzzards well inland, a from-patch tick - brought the January-March total to 73 species and 89 points (60.95%).

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