Thursday, October 13, 2011

Birding Sein

Birding was extremely exciting although we did not see a single major rarity.
The well known potential of Sein and the fact that migrants were coming in from the sea during the whole day guaranteed action and boosted motivation.

On friday we saw 2 Balearic Shearwaters and many Gannets from the ferry. During the first days there were only few migrants around (Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers, a Whitethroat, a Reed Warbler and both Firecrest and Goldcrest). A Red-breasted Flycatcher, Wryneck and 2 Snow Buntings were the highlight.

And I did not even see the Flycatcher because we did not want to waist the precious morning birding time on twitching. Here we are waiting for it not to reappear because it had moved to the bushes behind the wall were Jan refound it later:-)

So we were enjoying the more common migrants; Robins and Dunnocks were everywhere, very nice to see them in this untypical habitat.

There were 100's of waders on the beach and although American Golden Plover, Buff-breasted and Pectoral Sandpiper were recorded last weeks we could not find any yank. Probably because we did not try hard enough to pull out that Semipalmated Plover, other priorities!

The beach is a great place in the afternoon, just like on Helgoland the kelp weeds attract many migrants and I spend several hours photographing Turnstones, Pipits, Wagtails and Wheatears in a colourfull setting.

My personal favorate was the Yellow Wagtail which showed it's subtile beauty often within few meters distance.
In fact, there were so many birds around that they had a small argument sometimes:-)
Some more Wrynecks turned up but shy as always, oneday I will meet that 1 in a 1000 tame one...
And then, on our last morning, things were looking really good. More migrants than previous days and action everywhere! The first surprise was a Corncrake walking over one of the paths near the lighthouse, of course found by Jan. It walked slowly into the vegetation and never showed again despite a thourough search:-) ;
I then noticed a Wryneck next to the small chapel. It flew into the single bush and as I lifted my binoculars I noticed another bird in the same bush; Barred Warbler! It showed very well for a few seconds before it flew towards the lighthouse where the other birders managed to connect with it. This is indeed a rare bird on the island and not recorded every year.
A Richard's Pipit flew over, landed next to the same chapel for a minute and disappeared into the sea.

A last check on our feeding station revealed that all Sein's House Sparrows had found the easy meal.
On monday afternoon it was time to leave the island. On our way back the GPS guided us the shortest way through Paris, which turned out te be through the centre along the Notre Dame! :-)

We will be back next year, Sein is magic!