In October this year I was fortunate enough to be part of the Clyde Ringing Group’s trip to the Isle of May Bird Observatory. The Isle of May is known for its puffins and other seabirds, but they had left for the winter and we were hoping to find some autumn migrant birds.
The week started off relatively slow, as thanks to the light westerly winds there weren’t many birds arriving on the island. However, as a new trainee, I still managed to handle some new species including goldcrest, treecreeper, rock pipit and wheatear. It also allowed us time to explore the island and enjoy some October sunshine.
After the early mornings checking the mist-nests and Heligoland traps, we were back out after dark finding purple sandpiper, shag, herring gull and great black-backed gull.
On Thursday the winds turned easterly, as the weather forecast had been promising all week, and we were inundated with redwing, song thrush, ring ouzel, blackcap and brambling.
Species highlights of the week included olive-backed pipit (only the 9th for the island), yellow-browed warbler, hawfinch and redstart.
I had a great week, handling many new species, and seeing even more. I learnt a lot from everyone I was there with, and hopefully it won’t be too long till I’m back on the May.