Rillage Point 18th–23rd March

Sunday 18th saw blizzard conditions in a severe NE gale. Daily visits since have yielded  the most meagre spring passage totals of any year since I started covering this site regularly for BirdTrack in 2011. Fulmars abandoned the breeding ledges entirely for several days and breeding passerines seem to have been hit harder by the second cold snap than the first. 19th & 20th saw an unusually strong E-bound passage of Common Gulls, with 93 in the space of an hour or so on 20th. Birds displaced to the W by the storm? There followed a couple of days with negligible visible migration - highly unusual for late March at this site. 22nd saw resumption of a light passge of 51 Meadow Pipits, 3 alba wagtails, a Grey Wagtail and a single Linnet. Today (23rd) brought the first Wheatear, 15 Siskins,  a continued trickle of Meadow Pipits, the first Stonechat since before the snow, and a passing Shelduck offshore (a spring passage migrant here). No Chiffchaff since 14th and not a sniff of a Sand Martin.

Posted March 23rd, 2018 at 8:30 pm by Tim Jones in Bird News