Sunday 22 April 2012

Weekend News

Summer surprise: male Black Redstart (Bex Outram)

Kittiwake with nest material (David Steel) 

I want some! Kittiwakes collecting nest material

 Grounded - the first Sandwich Terns land at next colony (David Steel)

Sunday 22nd April comments: It's been another interesting weekend with more rain, more unsettled weather but at least we could share the islands with visitors, as boats were able to sail. It's been a difficult start to the season, as the weather has dominated and now the rangers, islands and more to the point; the breeding seabirds, could do with some sunny calm weather.

Despite the difficult start, the seabirds have been getting on with life as normal, as Kittiwakes are now frantically nest building, the number of Arctic Terns increase daily (and now displaying) whilst Sandwich Terns have grounded on the main nest colony on Inner Farne. Shags won't be too far away from recording their first hatchlings with a female Mallard producing the first ducklings of the year today.

On the migrant front, two Black Redstarts graced the islands, whilst a handful of migrants remained from last weeks 'fall'. A total of 45 Barnacle Geese flew east over the inner group today whilst a 'white' wagtail reminded us of summer. A wader roost survey across the islands today revealed: Purple Sandpiper 331 (!), Turnstone 155, Redshank 7, Oystercatcher 155 and Ringed Plover 8.  

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