Skomer Island Migrant Bird Sightings – November 2018

Sunset on the farm buildings on Skomer Island. Photo: M. Alexander

Sunset on the farm buildings on Skomer Island. Photo: M. Alexander

Firecrest

Firecrest

What's been spotted on Skomer in November?

Numbers of wildfowl were pretty high with peak counts of 12 Eurasian Wigeon (7th), 70 Eurasian Teal (17th), 104 Mallard (7th), 2 Northern Pintail (7th), 3 Northern Shoveler on the 3rd and 22 Common Scoter that flew over on the 16th. Great Northern Diver was recorded on two occasions both 16th and 18th.

Fulmars returned to the island with the highest count of 44 seen on the 11th. Manx Shearwater was heard almost throughout the entire month. Grey Heron was seen most of the days with 2 individuals being present on the 6th and 7th.

Marsh Harriers were present throughout with one that roosted on the 11th in North Valley. Hen Harrier commonly seen around the island with the peak count of 8 on the 22nd and an adult male was seen on the 16th, 19th, 21st and 22nd. Eurasian Sparrowhawk was recorded on the 5th and 7th.

Water Rail commonly heard with up to 10 individuals around.

Monthly maxima of waders include...

42 Oystercatcher (7th), 30 Curlew (3rd), 16 Turnstone (17th), 5 Purple Sandpiper (13th), 3 Woodcock (13th) and 8 Common Snipe (5th, 17th).

Gull counts peaked at 95 Kittiwake (21st), 68 Black-headed Gull (11th), only 2 Mediterranean Gull (16th), 1 Common Gull (12th), 19 Lesser Black-backed Gull (16th), 217 European Herring Gull (13th), 19 Great Black-backed Gull all chewing on the seal carcass (12th).

Woodpigeons scarcely seen around with the top count of 77 on the 2nd.

It was a good month for owls!

With 3 Long-eared Owl individuals present between the 4th and 7th in North Valley. Also, 7 Short-eared Owl were recorded on the 7th and 6 on the 4th. Merlin was recorded on eight dates. A maximum of 9 Chough were seen on the 16th. Highest count of Goldcrest of 7 was made on the 1st together with a Firecrest on the same day. Blue Tit counts peaked at 9 on the 2nd.

There was a very late record of a single Barn Swallow made on the 18th!

Chiffchaffs were seen throughout with the highest count of 16 on the 4th. Siberian Chiffchaff was present on both the 2nd, 7th and 17th. There were 5 Blackcaps recorded on the 1st. Skylark top count of 75 was recorded on the 2nd. Starlings peaked at 5065 on the 15th.

Top counts of thrushes include...

20 Blackbird (17th), 127 Fieldfare (15th), 30 Song Thrush (18th), 84 Redwing (7th) and Single Mistle Thrush recorded on three days.

Robin peaked at 40 on the 4th, European Stonechat at 5 on the 15th, 9 House Sparrow on the 2nd, single Grey Wagtail were seen on the 1st and 4th and 2 on the 2nd. There were also 63 Rock Pipit recorded on the 17th, as well as, 4 single Water Pipit seen on four different days. Brambling maximum count of 7 was made on the 2nd, 178 Chaffinch (15th), 4 Greenfinch (2nd), 31 Goldfinch (5th), 2 Siskin (2nd).

There was a single male Snow Bunting that flew over North Valley seen on the 4th. Reed Bunting was present throughout with the highest count of 11 on the 7th.