Saturday, 30 July 2016

A beautiful "summery" day weather wise with light westerly winds and warm sunny spells made for a fantastic day.

Lower counts on the wildlife front than in the last fews days due more to the lack of coverage today rather than a dip in actual numbers of migrant and resident populations. Even so 34 Willow Warblers, singles of Chiffchaff and Blackcap, and a Siskin overhead calling with its distinctive "Pew" flight call. Groups of Meadow Pipits and Linnits dotted the island and small numbers of Hirundines were noted with Four Sand Martins, and counts comprising of mostly resident Swallows and House Martins with 22 and four counted respectively. Two juvenile Goldcrests showed well amongst the trees at the plantation, still lacking their striking crown stripes that come through later in their plumage and a female Mallard with at least eight juveniles now of a reasonable size still resided around the pond and plantation at Nant.

Counts of Lepidoptera were reasonably high especially around the Nant area of the island where 56 Green-veined Whites, Two Large Whites, Seven Peacocks, Seven Meadow Browns and a single Six Spot Burnet were recorded flitting through the grassy areas and settling on the various selection of plants present including Elder, Brambles, Fuchsia and Thistles.

Friday, 29 July 2016

A marked arrival of 69 Willow Warblers occurred overnight with the majority feeding in the Nant area. A few other migrants made it through, such as two Sedge Warblers, one Whitethroat, three Blackcaps, two Chiffchaffs, and one Lesser Redpoll whilst one Kestrel, three Sand Martins and two Grey Wagtails flew overhead. A single Arctic Tern was watched off the North End with 1089 Manx Shearwaters also seen at sea. Narrows counts amounted to eight Purple Sandpipers, one Dunlin, eight Whimbrels, 37 Curlews, three Redshanks, one Common Sandpiper, and 24 Turnstones

Thursday, 28 July 2016

The island was left a tad waterlogged after a morning's deluge but the afternoon's sun more than made up for it. Three Ringed Plovers, 12 Sanderlings, three Dunlins, six Whimbrels, one Common Sandpiper, and 36 Turnstones were on Solfach with one Mediterranean Gull, three Sedge Warblers, three Blackcaps, one Chiffchaff, and 12 Willow Warblers the best elsewhere.
One of the many young Linnets roaming the island recently

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

On a stunning day weather-wise there were a good deal of interesting migrants around. Biggest surprise of the day were the two female Goosanders which pitched down briefly in Henllwyn at midday. After a minute's rest they took off flying strongly north over the centre of the island. This, just the seventh record for Bardsey, comes quick on the heels of male seen briefly in flight in late autumn 2014.

The first major arrival of Willow Warblers occurred with 49 spread across the island today. The first Whinchat of the autumn was at the North End whilst three Kestrels, one Collared Dove, four Grey Wagtails, three Sedge Warblers, five Blackcaps, three Chiffchaffs, two Siskins, and two Goldfinches were noted.

Sea-watching was productive as a massive 6164 Manx Shearwaters were recorded along with 52 Common Scoters, one Mediterranean Gull, 12 Black-headed Gulls, and two Sandwich Terns.

The usual collection of waders on the Narrows contained five Ringed Plovers, nine Sanderlings, six Purple Sandpipers, 15 Dunlins, 11 Whimbrels, 43 Curlews, three Redshanks, six Common Sandpipers, and 46 Turnstones

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Counts from the Narrows at high tide produced three Ringed Plovers, three Purple Sandpipers, 20 Dunlins, nine Whimbrels, 48 Curlews, three Redshanks, seven Common Sandpipers, 41 Turnstones, and 15 Sanderlings, including one colour-ringed individual of the latter. A first winter Mediterranean Gull fed along the coast of the South End, one Grey Wagtail flew north over Cristin, whilst two Sedge Warblers, one Whitethroat, two Blackcaps, three Chiffchaffs, 18 Willow Warblers, one Siskin, and 122 Linnets were recorded elsewhere.

More tape-luring overnight produced 12 further Storm Petrels, one of which was ringed elsewhere.

Monday, 25 July 2016

A dark phase Arctic Skua off the South End was the first of the autumn, as was the juvenile Arctic Tern off the North End. Other interesting sightings from offshore include a first winter Mediterranean Gull, 243 Kittiwakes,133 Puffins, 1601 Manx Shearwaters, and three Common Scoters.

Waders today comprised three Ringed Plovers, nine Sanderlings, 13 Dunlins, one Snipe, three Whimbrels, 37 Curlews, three Redshanks, seven Common Sandpipers, and 26 Turnstones. A juvenile Cuckoo was seen in the Lowlands, two Grey Wagtails flew over, and 17 Willow Warblers were dotted around.
A wide variety of moths are being caught on the island over the past few weeks. Above you have Swallow-tailed Moth, Dark Arches, and Garden Tiger whilst below are goodies such as Burnished Brass and Buff Arches

Sunday, 24 July 2016

A good count of 1340 Manx Shearwaters were rafting offshore with 17 Common Scoters flying by too. The Narrows dominates sightings again with three Grey Herons, three Ringed Plovers, nine Sanderlings, ten Purple Sandpipers, 27 Dunlins, three Whimbrels, 70 Curlew, two Redshanks, five Common Sandpipers, 60 Turnstones, and four Mediterranean Gulls. A juvenile Cuckoo was around Cristin, with further counts of three Swifts, 18 Willow Warblers, and 12 Goldfinches.

Late news as well of a Bloxworth Snout caught at Cristin yesterday morning. Potentially representing a new species for Wales.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

The autumn's highest count of Willow Warblers, 17, brightened up today's census with a bonus Spotted Flycatcher too. Overhead two Swifts and a Grey Wagtail were recorded with one Sedge Warbler and two Chiffchaffs also around.
First juvenile Willow Warbler of the autumn ringed
A pair of young Mediterranean Gulls fed along the tide-line of Solfach and shared space with the likes of four Ringed Plovers, ten Sanderlings, five Purple Sandpipers, 16 Dunlins, two Whimbrel, 32 Curlews, three Common Sandpipers, and 42 Turnstones over the course of the day. Three Common Scoters and one Sandwich Tern also put in an appearance offshore.
Look out for some of our colour-ringed Rock Pipits

Friday, 22 July 2016

Though sunny, today was not as hot as late, making it a lot easier to be out and about during the middle of the day. Plenty of coverage from the south tip to the east cliffs meant lots of good counts. On the marine side of things 2460 Manx Shearwaters was a decent count, as were 41 Gannets, 91 Shags, seven Common Scoters, 47 Black-headed Gulls, and six Sandwich Terns. A tremendous 126 Puffins were still in situ at the north east of the island whilst a very young Storm Petrel was heard calling from it's nest nearby.

The Narrows continue to attract passing waders with two Ringed Plovers, 12 Sanderlings, one Purple Sandpiper, 22 Dunlins, one Snipe, nine Whimbrels, 49 Curlews, eight Redshanks, three Common Sandpipers, and 45 Turnstones all condensed into this small area. An immature Mediterannean Gull fed in Solfach too and three Grey Herons stalked nearby.

Inland only three Sand Martins, four Chiffchaffs, and two Willow Warblers were noticeable migrants. Back to the sea though and six Common Dolphins, two Risso's Dolphins, and five Harbour Porpoises were logged.

Last nights moth trap on top of the Mountain (above) and it's contents (below)

Plenty of juvenile Shags fishing offshore of late
A reasonably productive year for Kittiwakes

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Overnight a fantastic 30 Storm Petrels were tape-lured, trapped, and ringed on Pen Cristin. A very good haul considering Bardsey's relatively small population.

Counts from the sea include 21 Common Scoters, 33 Black-headed Gulls, 179 Kittiwakes, and 12 Sandwich Terns with one Swift and three Willow Warblers the only migrants of note around the island. Waders continue to provide interest with four Ringed Plovers, ten Sanderlings, seven Purple Sandpipers, 20 Dunlins, seven Whimbrels, 45 Curlews, 12 Redshanks, seven Common Sandpipers, and 43 Turnstones seen.

Some of our young Manx Shearwater chicks are getting rather big now. There's still time to come and see them for yourself though.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

A juvenile Marsh Harrier heading north high over the island was one of the most noteworthy sightings of the day. As was the Green Sandpiper feeding in one of the South End rock pools; the first record of the year. More waders recorded today include one Ringed Plover, two Golden Plovers, three Sanderlings, 28 Dunlins, one Snipe, five Whimbrels, 28 Curlews, six Redshanks, four Common Sandpipers, and 38 Turnstones.

Around the island four Swifts, 75 Swallows, 20 House Martins, seven Sedge Warblers, two Whitethroats, one Blackcap, six Chiffchaffs, one Willow Warbler, and three Lesser Redpolls were logged, as were 1087 Manx Shearwaters, 78 Gannets, six Common Scoters, 60 Black-headed Gulls, and one Common Gull at sea.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Another day of wall-to-wall sunshine encouraging lots of movement above, through, and by the island. A Yellowhammer at Ty Capel was just the second record of the year whilst the late summer run of Crossbills continued with three flying over Cristin early in the morning. The main talking point of the day was hirundines as 74 Swifts, 18 Sand Martins, 288 Swallows, 267 House Martins careered overhead. A 'flava' Wagtail elusive around the Lighthouse compound was an unusually early record with further sightings of note including one Grey Wagtail, four Willow Warblers, two Starlings, and one Kestrel.

Plenty of activity at sea included 998 Manx Shearwaters, 97 Gannets, 29 Shags, two Shelducks, three Common Scoters, 26 Black-headed Gulls, four Common Gulls, 503 Herring Gulls, two distant Skua sp, 189 Kittiwakes, and 12 Sandwich Terns.

Today's wader medley comprised one Ringed Plover, one Golden Plover, five Sanderlings, 14 Dunlins, eight Snipes, three Whimbrels, 40 Curlews, four Redshanks, three Common Sandpipers, and 34 Turnstones.

Some interesting non-avian sightings included the first Migrant Hawker of the year, a Speckled Wood at Nant, two Northern Eggars on the wing at Cristin, five Risso's Dolphins off the South End, and eight Porpoise.

Monday, 18 July 2016

A blanket of sea mist at dawn burnt off by mid-morning allowing one of the sunniest, hottest, and enjoyable days this year. Sitting atop the sightings from today is the Basking Shark watched moving south off the West Coast at around 10am. This fantastic ocean wanderer is the first to be recorded in nearly a decade with the last sighting on 3 September 2006! Not to be outdone, a pod of four Risso's Dolphins performed admirably off the South End in the afternoon. Also seen at sea were three Common Scoters, two Sandwich Terns, and 86 Puffins.

Around the island c.200 Herring Gulls fed in one writhing mass in the sky on the emerging flying ants, no doubt also food for the notable hirundine movement consisting of 11Swifts, nine Sand Martins, 45 Swallows, and six House Martins. A Kestrel hunted the Mountain whilst migrant warblers concerned six Sedge Warblers and four Willow Warblers.

Busy feeding on the Narrows in a veritable wader frenzy were one Ringed Plover, one Golden Plover, one Sanderling, one Snipe, 15 Dunlins, 12 Whimbrels, 30 Curlews, six Redshanks, three Common Sandpiper, and 35 Turnstones.

A stunning Poplar Hawk-moth caught overnight

Curlew or Whimbrel feathers

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Fantastic sunshine almost all day made it a truly lovely day outside, but the birdlife reminded us autumn is nipping at summer's heels. An early Balearic Shearwater cruised past the South End mid-morning, the first this year, with one Sandwich Tern13 Black-headed Gulls, and 29 Puffins also recorded at sea.

The Narrows continues to provide most of the island excitement as small parties of waders come and ago throughout the day. Today three Grey Herons, 202 Oystercatchers, one Ringed Plover, one Golden Plover, one Dunlin, ten Whimbrels, 31 Curlews, three Redshanks, four Common Sandpipers, and 36 Turnstones graced the beaches.

The first noticeable hirundine passage of autumn totalled one Swift, 24 Sand Martins, 34 Swallows, and 11 House Martins with counts inland adding to one Cuckootwo Grey Wagtails, 21 Pied Wagtails, three Sedge Warblers, one Whitethroat, two Blackcaps, three Chiffchaffs, 12 Willow Warblers, and 103 Linnets.

In the morning four Risso's Dolphins moved south just off of Henllwyn.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Although clear at dawn, a cloud of dense fog enveloped the island for most of the day, clearing only as night fell. A few new migrants made landfall though including the first Willow Warbler of the autumn heard calling at Cristin. The Cuckoo was still around, as was the Sand Martin, whilst at sea one Sandwich Tern and nine Black-headed Gulls flew by. Regarding waders, a Golden Plover was new in whilst five Dunlins, three Common Sandpipers, and 23 Turnstones were on the Narrows at high tide.

Friday, 15 July 2016

The day's mixture of rain, fog, and high winds made it a tad difficult in the field. Respite between said weather brought sightings of the juvenile Cuckoo still around, now down towards the Withies. A Sand Martin was perched up at Nant in the evening, ten Black-headed Gulls were at sea, and counts on the Narrows consisted of two Grey Herons, two Whimbrels, 22 Curlews, four Redshanks, two Common Sandpipers, and 17 Turnstones.

Four Storm Petrels were tape-lured in overnight at Bae Nant and a Bar-tailed Godwit flew over calling too.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Once again the weather was lovely on our island oasis. A Golden Plover appeared feeding on the Narrows in the evening, a Grey Wagtail headed over Cristin in the morning, four Common Scoters sped past at sea, and a Kestrel hunted around Nant.

The first Cinnabar moth recorded for three years

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

The sun beating down on the island until late afternoon made it a rather nice day to be outside. The autumn's first Common Tern drifted south past the North Hide in the morning with counts of migrants on the Narrows totaling two Grey Herons, two Dunlins, one Whimbrel, nine Curlews, two Redshanks, three Common Sandpipers, nine Turnstones, and five Black-headed Gulls.

Yesterday's Grey Seal count paled in significance to the massive 286 hauled out today. The highest number recorded since May 2008.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

A really lovely day on the island with temperatures reasonably high at times but a light breeze making it all rather refreshing. A build up of 70 Gannets offshore was notable, as were 45 Puffins logged (no doubt busy ferrying fish to their burrows on the East Side), and 20 Common Scoters heading south. The Grey Heron still lingers on the Narrows alongside three Dunlins, two Whimbrels, 19 Curlews, one Redshank, seven Common Sandpipers, and two Turnstones. The Cuckoo giving everyone a runaround for the last week was finally pinned down and confirmed as a juvenile, presumably a locally bred bird given it's extended stay on the island.

Two Speckled Woods (above) were at Nant showing heavy signs of wear, presumably the same two seen around last week. An emergence of 14 Graylings were counted on the Mountain Top whilst Grey Seals reached a total of 197, the highest count of recent weeks.

Monday, 11 July 2016

A much calmer day than of late but not much of a change in bird-life inland. It wont be long however before the first juvenile Willow Warblers will be heading south onto our shores. Waders continue to dominate proceedings with today's collection concerning one Ringed Plover, 11 Dunlins, 37 Curlews, three Common Sandpipers, and 19 Turnstones. At sea two Common Scoters and 23 Black-headed Gulls were picked out heading south.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

The Cuckoo still lingered at Cristin though continually elusive whilst high counts on the Narrows consisted of one Grey Heron, seven Dunlins, two Whimbrels, 35 Curlews, six Common Sandpipers, 25 Turnstones, and 15 Black-headed Gulls

Saturday, 9 July 2016

In a very windy day most of the action was on the beaches with returning waders the theme; one Ringed Plover, one Purple Sandpiper, eight Dunlins, two Whimbrels, one Common Sandpiper and 34 Turnstones fed alongside a lone Starling.
Four newly fledged Goldcrests huddled at the Plantation

Friday, 8 July 2016

As the wind ripped around the island the seas were particularly choppy in the morning, and though there was some afternoon lull, the evening saw the waves re-appear. Having said that, the day was sunny throughout and very enjoyable. A few new waders were fresh in on the Narrows including three Whimbrels, 15 Curlews, five Common Sandpipers, 21 Turnstones, and the first Purple Sandpiper of the autumn, whilst five Black-headed Gulls loafed nearby.

The Cuckoo was still present at Cristin, as was a Collared Dove, whilst a foray onto the East Side in the afternoon saw 95 Shags and 89 Puffins recorded.

Little Owl at Nant

One of a few Razorbill chicks still left at Bae Felen on the East Side


Thursday, 7 July 2016

A bit of a miserable day as heavy fog laid low over the island, breaking only for an hour or so at midday before the drizzle set in. A particularly rufous Cuckoo was residing at Cristin, either a bright juvenile or a female of the hepatic morph. Hopefully better views will confirm it tomorrow. The first Dunlin of the autumn on Solfach was the only other bird of note as the wardening team dream of the first Willow Warblers to arrive next week.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

An adult Mediterranean Gull still loitering around the Narrows with five Black-headed Gulls was the best sighting of the day. The Curlew flock continues to build up with 35 seen on Carreg Yr Honwy alongside two Whimbrels. A total of 25 Turnstones were recorded as were two Common Scoters at sea. 

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

The Narrows seemed to harbour the main birds of interest today. A stunning full adult Mediterranean Gull fed in Solfach with six Black-headed Gulls with an early White Wagtail feeding along the tide-line nearby. A flock of three Whimbrels were kicking around as were a Common Sandpiper, 11 Turnstones, and two lingering Grey Herons.

Out at sea nine Fulmars, 46 Gannets, 32 Common Scoters, and 101 Puffins were recorded.

Monday, 4 July 2016

A party of four Crossbills once again graced Nant with their presence whilst a Cuckoo hid in the Lowlands, no doubt on it's way southwards to Africa. Singles of Collared Dove and Grey Wagtail were new in with 1281 Manx Shearwaters and three Sandwich Terns moving at sea in the evening, plus one Common Sandpiper on Solfach. Overnight two Storm Petrels were caught in a successful ringing trip to Bae Nant.

Storm Petrel
Many tiny squeaky Manx Shearwater chicks can now be heard begging for food from their mum n dad! The baby can just be seen to the left of the parent bird.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Another two Mediterranean Gulls cruised by offshore with good counts of 100 Gannets, 21 Common Scoters, and two Black-headed Gulls also. The Narrows had two Grey Herons, 26 Curlews, and 18 Turnstones feeding at high tide. Inland two Grey Wagtails were the best around whilst in non-avian sightings at least 190 Grey Seals were recorded and the first Six-spot Burnet Moth of the year was at the Schoolhouse.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

A surprise (re)appearance of a Black Guillemot at Bae Nant brightened up a choppy morning being the first record for a few weeks. A total of 1403 Manx Shearwaters and five Common Scoters were noted at sea as 17 Curlews and 28 Turnstones fed on the Narrows at high tide, whilst a lone Starling was inland.

Friday, 1 July 2016

The first two Mediterranean Gulls of the autumn drifted south offshore with six Black-headed Gulls, with counts of 22 Curlews, one Redshank, and 27 Turnstones on the Narrows.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

A dry and productive morning soon gave way to fierce gusts mixed with rain showers. The first real signs of autumn approach with three Sand Martins heading south along the South End, two Grey Wagtails south overhead, a build-up of 19 Curlews on Carreg Yr Honwy, and a Common Sandpiper on Solfach. In addition 60 Gannets plunged offshore, two Grey Herons fed in the rock-pools on the Narrows, and a Lesser Redpoll was on the South End.