Wigeon on the move today
Arctic Skua - one of five logged on passage
Peregrines back resident for the autumn on the islands
Monday 10th September comments: Westerly winds can be perceived as being dull, bringing very little bird migration to the islands. However it can also be wrong, as today proved. An early morning seawatch revealed a steady movement of wildfowl past the islands which included the first returning ‘pale-bellied’ Brent Geese of the autumn, as birds moved to nearby Lindisfarne for the winter. Supporting cast included all three Diver species noted, our first autumn Goldeneye alongside reasonable counts of Teal and Wigeon.
However all this was overshadowed just after 08:30 when two (yes TWO) adult SABINE’S GULLS were observed flying south together. Both birds were associating with several Kittiwakes and even stopped to join a feeding party of Terns/Kittiwakes (and landing on the sea) before eventually continuing their journey south. This impressive sight was witnessed by all the team, so it was a great start to the day and represents the 26th-27th records for the Farne Islands (the first was as recent as August 1991). Since then, both 1997 and 2005 have produced five in a year, so anything is possible over the next month or so.
Today’s Totals: Great northern Diver 2S, Red-throated Diver 5S, Black-throated Diver 2S, Brent Goose 78N, Teal 180, Wigeon 213N, Goldeneye 2N (first of the autumn), Common Scoter 38, Shelduck 2N, Peregrine 2, Snipe 13 together, Curlew Sandpiper 1 on Brownsman, Whimbrel 4, Sabine’s Gull 2 adults south, Roseate Tern 1 adult (amongst other Terns), Yellow Wagtail (for second day), Meadow Pipit 23, Wheatear 9, Whitethroat 2, Willow Warbler 2 and Goldcrest.