Thursday, 15 October 2009

October calm

The glorious calm autumn weather continues and so do the great birds. We have had a very smart Black Redstart, two Hen Harriers hanging around, our first Redwings, Fieldfares and Bramblings (winters on it's way!), a Lesser Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Yellow Browed-warbler and Lapland Buntings.

We've also had other birds which most people wouldn't look twice at but we get quite excited about because they don't often make it out here. Birds such as Coal Tit, Rooks, Great Spotted Woodpecker and House Sparrows. There has been big movements of Skylarks with over 150 estimated on one day.
As well as all the birds to see there are lots of Seal pups visible on the main beaches. One was born on our boat slipway about 6 days ago and is growing well, it hardly bats an eye-lid when we drive past it on our (to it's eyes massive) tractor to launch the boat. Each pup is marked with harmless coloured spray (as used to mark sheep) so that we can follow their progress. After about three weeks spent on the beach suckling from Mum the pup moults it's white fur (and hence the spray mark) and is then independant of Mum and faces the big wide world on it's own. We have been hearing a couple of adult Shearwaters the last few nights, these will probably be the last ones of the year. There are still a handfull of fledging Shearwaters around as well, but another week or so and they will all be gone.

There is a detailed report on all the wildlife spotted on the island for September on our website now. You can also look through past reports.

The new Wildlife Watch website was launched this week. Wildlife watch is the junior branch of the Wildlife Trust and is the UK's leading environmental action club for kids. Have a look at the site Loads of fun info and games, great for all kids (big and small!).

Sunrise and sunsets have been truly amazing for the last week.

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