Sunday, 26 April 2015

A pleasant day of clear skies and lower wind speeds saw something of a return to 'normal' springtime migrant numbers. There remained a fair scattering of species around the island, however, with two Ring Ouzels present on the Mountain, the usual Black Redstart around the Abbey, a good tally of 66 Wheatears in the coastal fields, a respectable movement of nine Sand Martins, 155 Swallows and 31 House Martins North over the Mountain and West Coast, and a Lesser Whitethroat, a Grasshopper Warbler, four Whitethroats, 27 Blackaps, 19 Chiffchaffs, 35 Willow Warblers and two Goldcrests seen in the more vegetated areas. The Little Egret was once again present, along with a Bar-tailed Godwit around the Narrows, whilst one Red-breasted Merganser flew by at sea.

Black Redstart

This smart geometrid is a Shoulder Stripe, and was trapped near Nant Withy a couple of days ago. It is a new species for Bardsey
Shuttle-shaped Darts are usually only recorded once or twice a year, and so it is good to trap one already

Green-veined Whites are appearing all over the island now

Saturday, 25 April 2015

It was a day of very variable weather conditions, with periods of warm sunny weather followed by light drizzle and then a very chilly northerly wind bringing low cloud in the afternoon. It seemed that a reasonable clear-out of migrants had taken place overnight, certainly in terms of warblers: just 15 Blackcaps, 18 Chiffchaffs and 19 Willow Warblers were seen in the sheltered areas, along with two Grasshopper Warblers, four Sedge Warblers and two Whitethroats. There was a small movement of hirundines during the day, which included nine Sand Martins, 103 Swallows and six House Martins.  A Tree Pipit, 25 White Wagtails, the male Black Redstart at Nant and  37 Wheatears  represented other passerine migrants seen during the day. The usual Little Egret was present around The Narrows for its  seventh day, where a Bar-tailed Godwit was also seen.

Friday, 24 April 2015

Despite something of a change in weather conditions, it was once again another good day for common migrants, with many birds moving through the island and perhaps being held up by the more inclement conditions. Highlights from the day's ringing and censuses included the following: a flock of five Ring Ouzels over the Mountain, singles of Tree Pipit, Redwing and Spotted Flycatcher in the vegetated areas, and the usual Little Egret and Black Guillemot around The Narrows. Warbler counts for the day comprised five Grasshopper Warblers, six Sedge Warblers, six Whitethroats, 29 Blackcaps, 60 Chiffchaffs, 36 Willow Warblers and two Goldcrests.

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Ringing has been pretty astounding this month. In the last ten days we have ringed almost 1300 birds, and so far this month we had done over 1600. This graph illustrates the month's data. The yellow colour represents A ring, which are used on Blackcaps and Grasshopper Warblers for example, whilst AA rings are placed on species like Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff.


Blackcap numbers are just beginning to ease off now

This Little Egret is the longest staying bird for perhaps seven years

Linnets are busy gathering wool and small twigs for their nests within gorse bushes

Thursday, 23 April 2015

It was an utterly stunning day. Low winds from the south east in the morning and clear blue skies throughout meant that a continued movement of migrants took place through the island. Large numbers of common passerine migrants were recorded, and a respectable tally of noteworthy species were also seen. There were several species added to the 2015 species list during the day, namely that of the year's first Lesser Whitethroat at Cristin, Pied Flycatcher at Nant, four Greylag Geese over The Narrows and Greenshank in Henllwyn. There were also some good records of scarcities during the day, including the year's second Siberian Chiffchaff, a Little Egret in Henllwyn and a Black Guillemot off the South End. In terms of warblers, 115 Blackcaps, 89 Willlow Warblers and 39 Chiffchaffs took the top places for abundance, whilst six Grasshopper Warblers, 16 Sedge Warblers, a Reed Warbler and three Whitethroats were also logged. Total figures for other passerine migrants comprised three Skylarks, 43 Sand Martins, 91 Swallows, 8 House Martins, a Tree Pipit, a Song Thrush, 15 White Wagtails, 83 Wheatears, a Common Redstart, a Black Redstart and a single Ring Ouzel. It was a decent day for waders too, aside the Greenshank, with two Bar-tailed Godwits, two Ringed Plovers, five Dunlins, one Snipe, 12 Whimbrels, a Curlew and five Common Sandpipers recorded.

This smart male Black Redstart has been present for two days now, hanging around the Abbey at the North End

Swallows are beginning to return to a few of the out buildings on the island

Bar-tailed Godwit

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

It is easy to get blaze about both the conditions and number of birds around at the moment. However, it was a truly glorious day, with clear blue skies, a light easterly wind, and warm temperatures. Migrants continued to stream through the island, and surprisingly Blackcaps continued to prove one of the most numerous warbler, with 103 recorded during the day. This compares to four Grasshopper Warblers, one Sedge Warbler, three Whitethroats, 49 Willow Warblers and 43 Chiffchaffs. A more pronounced movement of hirundines produced 52 Swallows, 29 House Martins and eight Sand Martins, whilst the day's Wheatear count amounted to an impressive 112 birds, most of which were individuals of the greenland-race. Somewhat scarcer passerine migrants comprised a single Tree Pipit, a stunning male Black Redstart, a Ring Ouzel, a Song Thrush at Cristin, and the Blue-headed Wagtail from yesterday. In terms of non-passerines, the Little Egret continued to hang around The Narrows, along with a Snipe, five Whimbrels, a Curlew, and three Common Sandpipers.

Ringing activities continued from morning to late afternoon, and once again a rather ridiculous number of Blackcaps were added to the year's growing total for this species. A further 60 were ringed today, which takes the total for APRIL alone to 431 birds. The previous annual ringing record on the island is 280, so 2015 looks set to be a truly exceptional year for this species.

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Blackcap madness!

Other ringing highlights from the day:

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A Chiffchaff was trapped wearing a Belgium ring, which is the first phylloscopus control we have had so far this year

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A Willow Warbler wearing a control ring from the UK scheme turned out to have been ringed in Nanjizal, Cornwall, last year

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Sedge Warbler

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Grasshopper Warbler

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Yet another day of full-on migration saw the glorious weather continue. Warblers, wheatears and hirundines were noted passing through the island throughout the day, with the final tallies amounting to the following: 119 Swallows, 19 House Martins, 26 Sand Martins, one Tree Pipit, 71 Wheatears, eight Grasshopper Warblers, three Sedge Warblers, two Whitethroats, 90 Blackcaps, 53 Willow Warblers, 66 Chiffchaffs and six Goldcrests. In terms of scarce visitors, a Little Egret was seen in Henllwyn in the morning, a Black Guillemot was present in Traeth Ffynnon, and an interesting wagtail thought to be a Blue-headed Wagtail hung around with some 30 White Wagtails on Solfach.

This interesting flava wagtail was present on Solfach in the morning. Perhaps a 1st summer male Blue-headed Wagtail

White Wagtail

Many of the Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers and Blackcaps are accumulating a lot of pollen on the feathers at the base of the bill. Many of the Blackcaps appear to be feeding on the nectar of the Damson blossom, and thus end up with yellow heads

Willow Warbler

Monday, 20 April 2015

There were somewhat lower numbers of migrants on the island today, but it was nevertheless a very pleasant and productive day. Hirundine passage was certainly more pronounced than the 19th, with birds heading into the fresh northerly wind throughout the day: 150 Swallows, 40 Sand Martins and 10 House Martins were recorded. Wheatears featured well once again, although the day's total of 43 is less than the 19th. A slow movement of warbler species through the island was perceptible, especially with the aid of ringing activities at Cristin (70 birds were ringed in the morning). Totals for warbler amounted to 59 Blackcaps, 38 Willow Warblers, 33 Chiffchaffs and one Goldcrest. In terms of scarce visitors and unusual sightings, a Little Egret was again seen in Henllwyn in the morning; a Great Tit over the South End was an intriguing record; and a Ring Ouzel gave brief views at Cristin. Wader numbers are very gradually increasing, with 13 Purple Sandpipers, two Dunlins, three Ringed Plovers, three Whimbrels, three Redshanks and a Common Sandpiper recorded around The Narrows today. Two Sandwich Terns flew South out to sea.


Hebrew Character

Red Sword-grass

Dark Sword-grass

Sunday, 19 April 2015

The continuation of the settled easterly winds and clear skies allowed migration through the island to continue in full force today, with hundreds of migrants logged during the day. A great selection of noteworthy species spiced the day's birding up even more, as did the ringing of almost 100 birds.

Notable sightings: a Little Egret (now the third of the year) gave brief views around the south tip in the early morning; a Stock Dove flew over the island, after the flock of two yesterday; a Canada Goose joined the usual feeding frenzy of gulls in Solfach; and the first Cuckoo and Spotted Flycatcher of 2015 arrived onto the island- the latter of these represents the earliest ever arrival date on the island, which was set in 1984 on 22 April. Finally, a Ring Ouzel above Nant was the first for a few days.

In terms of common migrants, there were good movements of Greenland-race Wheatears, yet more Blackcaps, phylloscopus warblers and White Wagtails. Blackcaps are having an astounding year on Bardsey, and this pattern seems to be repeated at other places, such as Skokholm (which is having a record spring for this species). A total of 71 were recorded today, and almost 50 of these were trapped and ringed, taking the year's ringing total well over 200. In terms of other warbler species, two Grasshopper Warblers, one Sedge Warblers, one Whitethroat, 40 Willow Warblers, 46 Chiffchaffs and two Goldcrests were seen. Wheatear passage was very pronounced with a total of 135 recorded; a Grey Wagtail, 47 White Wagtails, three Whimbrels, a Common Sandpiper and one Merlin were other sightings from the day.

Another good day of ringing saw around 90 birds trapped and ringed, adding to a pretty impressive total amassed from the last week of ringing 

first summer Blackcaps- this species is the most common species trapped at the moment, with 42 trapped and ringed today alone. The month's total is over 200 now, and so 2015 is set to be a record year 

this rather smart Common Redstart was trapped and ringed at Nant

Willow Warbler

Greenland-race Wheatear

Saturday, 18 April 2015

A day of contrasting conditions began with very strong and gusty easterly winds, which made for a pretty chilly start and thus few warblers making an appearance. The wind did, however, gradually drop in strength throughout the day, and allowed mist nets to be opened, and many smaller warbler species to emerge and move through.

It was another good day for Wheatear passage, with a total of 68 recorded around the coast and on the Mountain. A small amount of visible migration took place during the day, consisting of three Sand Martins, 57 Swallows, 12 House Martins, 30 White Wagtails, 10 alba Wagtails and 130 Meadow Pipits. A smart male Common Redstart appeared just above Plas, and was amongst a good number of passerine migrants in the vegetated areas: one Grasshopper Warbler, 79 Blackcaps, 51 Chiffchaffs, 38 Willow Warblers, six Goldcrests and a Lesser Redpoll. Elsewhere on the island, the year's first Bar-tailed Godwit was seen on the Narrows, along with six Whimbrels.

Bar-tailed Godwit

Friday, 17 April 2015

A more southerly airflow predominated through the day, bringing with it warmer temperatures and a low covering of cloud. It was yet another great day for migrants, with a steady movement of warblers, hirundines and chats noted all day long. Ringing took place at Cristin and Nant from about 0600 to 1000, and resulted in another 100+ ringing day total- something that has been a pretty regular occurrence in the last week. In terms of new and noteworthy sightings, two Stock Doves flew North over the Mountain in morning; and the first Whinchat of the year was seen alongside a male Common Redstart at Carreg Bach in the afternoon.

Common passerine migrant totals ‘on land’ amounted to the following: two Skylarks, 163 Meadow Pipits, Tree Pipits, 39 White Wagtails, 52 Greenland Wheatears, two Grasshopper Warblers, one Sedge Warbler, Whitethroats, 55 Blackcaps, 83 Willow Warblers, 60 Chiffchaffs, four Goldcrests, a Great Tit, one Greenfinch, five Lesser Redpolls, two Siskins and 17 Goldfinches. Hirundine passage was most pronounced in the afternoon, when a movement of southerly direction (breeding birds heading to Ireland?) consisted of 34 Sand Martins, six House Martins and 123 Swallows.

Willow Warblers have certainly been dominating migrant totals in the last few days- it's not often that we have an 800+ bird day for this species. The last time we had a larger day total than this was on 2 August 2011 when over 1000 were recorded 


Thursday, 16 April 2015

There was a slight change in the weather overnight, with clear skies and fresh north-easterly winds replacing the conditions experienced yesterday. Although a large percentage of the 15th's arrival had cleared out, there were still plenty of migrants around. Warbler numbers remained healthy, with totals comprising one Grasshopper Warbler, one Whitethroat, 113 Blackcaps, 67 Chiffchaffs, 135 Willow Warblers and a Firecrest. A movement of hirundines over the island throughout the day amounted to 11 Sand Martins, 123 Swallows and 17 House Martins, whilst a single Tree Pipit and 20 White Wagtails were also recorded. Greenland-race Wheatears arrived in reasonable numbers, and moved through the island from west to east during the morning and afternoon- a total of 78 were counted, although this is probably an underestimate. Other noteowrthy birds seen during the day included the year's first Common Sandpiper, singles of Red-breasted Merganser, Dunlin and Merlin, six Purple Sandpipers and three Whimbrels.

Tree Pipit

Willow Warbler



Wednesday, 15 April 2015

It was a fantastic day of spring passage, with hundreds of warblers moving through during the day, spilling out of every ditch, bush and tree on the island. The arrival and movement of migrants was highlighted by three species: Willow Warblers, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs. Combined numbers were likely well over 1000, although individual tallies were estimated at around 853 Willow Warblers, 196 Blackcaps and 120 Chiffchaffs. Amongst these arrivals were a few new species for the year, and the odd slightly scarce visitor: a Hoopoe was seen above the Observatory in the morning, and was seen again there in the late afternoon; the first Sedge Warblers (six), Whitethroats (three), Tree Pipits (two) and Firecrest of the year were present; and a Ring Ouzel above Carreg Bach and 12 Grasshopper Warblers were also recorded. Greenland-race Wheatears were scattered all over the island, with at least 30 present, and some 25 White Wagtails were seen on Solfach.

Ringing took place at Cristin from 0600 to 1100, and then at Nant between 1200 and 1500. In total, almost 250 birds were trapped and ringed, although 80% of this total was just Willow Warblers alone; some smart captures in the day included the first Sedge Warbler and Firecrest of the year.

Birds in bags awaiting ringing

male Blackcap awaiting extraction

female Firecrest

Sedge Warbler 

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Another day, another edition to the yearlist. This occasion being two Wigeon that headed past the South End in the morning.

Migrants were a little down compared to the last week but still plenty of interest sightings recorded including one Red-throated Diver, one Sparrowhawk, one Curlew, two Redshanks, 176 Guillemots, five Swallows, six White Wagtails, two Grasshopper Warblers, 17 Blackcaps, 26 Chiffchaffs, 39 Willow Warblers, five Goldcrests, four Jackdaws, and three Hooded Crows. Of particular note were the 12 Blue Tits seen around the island, three times more than the usual numbers present.

Monday, 13 April 2015

The day got off to a cracking start with the discovery of a Hoopoe on the mountainside between Cristin and Ty Pellaf. Unfortunately the bird proved flighty and elusive; evading everyone for the rest of the day (quite impressive for a bright orange and black and white bird!).

More goodies were still to be found around the island including three firsts for the year. A stunning summer-plumaged Black Guillemot fed close off the South End, a Firecrest was in the Plantation and a Reed Warbler skulked in the Wetlands. The latter being the earliest record for the island by two days. Also, the second Tree Pipit of the year flew around Nant in the morning.

Other species recorded during the day include one Grey Heron, one Kestrel, one Ringed Plover, one Snipe, one Whimbrel, two Curlews, one Sand Martin, 24 Swallows, nine White Wagtails, 26 Wheatears, one Song Thrush, one Grasshopper Warbler, nine Blackcaps, 27 Chiffchaffs, 28 Willow Warblers, five Goldcrests, 39 Goldfinches, and 258 Linnets.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

A rather variable day weather-wise on the island with gale-force winds and heavy rain showers in the morning, but clear skies and tranquil seas in the evening. Two Black Redstarts headlined today’s sightings, with presumably yesterday’s young male still at Nant and another hopping around the North End rocks. One Ring Ouzel could still be found hiding on the mountainside in the morning.

In addition to above, 229 Manx Shearwaters, one Merlin, one Sparrowhawk, two Ringed Plovers, one Curlew,  three Redshanks, one Black-headed Gull, 12 Swallows, 28 Pied Wagtails, one White Wagtail, 11 Blackcaps, 36 Chiffchaffs, 28 Willow Warblers, three Goldcrests, and one Rook were seen

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Today’s change in the weather caused a noticeable change in the birds as well. The majority of recent migrants had exited the island though some interesting species remained to be seen, including a new male Black Redstart at Nant, four Ring Ouzels on the Mountain, and the female Bullfinch at Nant.

Elsewhere 22 Fulmars, 649 Manx Shearwaters, 114 Gannets, five Black-headed Gulls, and one Sandwich Tern were recorded in blustery sea conditions. Inland one Sparrowhawk and one Merlin patrolled the island, one Curlew and six White Wagtails fed on The Narrows, and an assortment of one Collared Dove, 10 Swallows, 33 Wheatears, two Song Thrushes, one Grasshopper Warbler, six Blackcaps, 29 Chiffchaffs, 40 Willow Warblers, seven Goldcrests, and 15 Goldfinches were scattered across the island.

Friday, 10 April 2015

The great weather continued into another day but with the temperature dropping and the wind increasing as the day went on. A morning walk around the North End and Nant produced a fleeting Short-eared Owl and two Grasshopper Warblers respectively, both of which are new for the year. A female/immature Black Redstart showed well around the Lighthouse compound, a Storm Petrel flew past the South End, and the female Bullfinch continued its residency at Nant.

Other interesting counts from the island include 16 Common Scoters, one Kestrel, two Merlins, one Ringed Plover, two Redshanks, one Collared Dove, one Sand Martin, 15 Swallows, two House Martins, 331 Meadow Pipits, one flava Wagtail, 21 White Wagtails, 47 Wheatears, four Ring Ouzels, three Song Thrushes, one Redwing, 56 Blackcaps, 70 Chiffchaffs, 239 Willow Warblers, seven Goldcrests, one Greenfinch, one Siskin, 42 Goldfinches, 194 Linnets, eight Lesser Redpolls, and one Reed Bunting.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

The glorious sun continued to shine upon the island throughout the day, some would call it bliss, the wardening team would call it sunburn. Following this good weather was another wave of migrants eager to reach their breeding grounds. A dapper male Common Redstart found in the Lowlands was the first of the year, along with a Tree Pipit in the Withies, and a flava Wagtail that flew over the Wetlands. A male Common Whitethroat on Pen Cristin was exceedingly early; only one day off Bardsey’s earliest ever record and one of only four in the UK reported so far. Equally surprising was the male Yellowhammer caught in the Helgoland trap in the morning. This delightful bunting breeds just a stone’s throw away on the mainland yet remains a rare bird here. The last bird to be ringed on the island was way back in 1991!

Yesterday’s female Bullfinch and Hen Harrier were still at large on the island whilst 98 Wheatears was easily the highest count of the year (mostly comprising Greenland race birds). Five Ring Ouzels still fed on the mountainside and an additional female was found in a mist net at Cristin. Other sightings from around the island include one Curlew, one Black-headed Gull, five Sandwich Terns, 20 Sand Martins, 77 Swallows, two House Martins, 234 Meadow Pipits, 17 White Wagtails, one Fieldfare, three Song Thrushes, two Redwings, 26 Blackcaps, 50 Chiffchaffs, 139 Willow Warblers, four Goldcrests, one Greenfinch, two Siskins, 14 Goldfinches, and eight Lesser Redpolls.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Another excellent day with bright sunshine, a cool sea breeze, and plenty of birds. Migrants had obviously arrived en masse with the main talking points being the Phylloscopus warblers and Ring Ouzels. A whopping 350 Willow Warblers and 75 Chiffchaffs were recorded from the mountain top to the south tip, and even feeding amongst seaweed on the beaches. Following the two yesterday, Ring Ouzels had shot up to 15 birds; an excellent spring passage compared to last year. They were mostly seen in flocks along the mountainside though birds were also recorded in the Wetlands and singing at Nant.

More new birds for the year continued to be found comprising a Brambling at Cristin, a Common Redpoll at Ty Capel, and a brief Hen Harrier on the East Side. Also, a pair of Bullfinches found at Ty Pellaf in the morning were later caught in the mist nets at Cristin.

In addition to the above a total of 13 Fulmars, one Grey Heron, 15 Common Scoters, one Buzzard, one Kestrel, one Merlin, two Curlews, one Redshank, 21 Sand Martins, 35 Swallows, two House Martins, 258 Meadow Pipits, 31 Pied Wagtails, five White Wagtails, 37 Wheatears, two Fieldfares, two Song Thrushes, three Redwings, 24 Blackcaps, 21 Goldcrests, three Rooks, one Starling, one Greenfinch, two Siskins, 25 Goldfinches, 216 Linnets, and eight Lesser Redpolls were  to be found across the island.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

With the residual fog from the last few days gone by late morning, the island basked in glorious sunshine for the rest of the day. The clear highlight of the day was a Wryneck seen very briefly by the Schoolhouse. This easily becomes the earliest ever record for Bardsey, and is one of only five reported in Britain this year. Other gems discovered around the island include the first two Ring Ouzels of the year on the mountain top, a Red Kite over Cristin (also a first for the year), and a Little Egret in Henllwyn.

A total of seven Blackcaps, 27 Chiffchaffs, 59 Willow Warblers, and 22 Goldcrests were recorded (mostly at Cristin and Nant), along with one Grey Heron, two Sparrowhawks, one Buzzard, one Merlin, one Water Rail, one Snipe, one Whimbrel, four Curlews, four Redshanks, 216 Meadow Pipits, one Grey Wagtail, one White Wagtail, 33 Wheatears, one Fieldfare, one Song Thrush, five Siskins, one Lesser Redpoll, and two Reed Buntings, Out to sea one Red-throated Diver flew by and six Sandwich Terns fished along the coast. Pronounced hirundine movement consisted of 61 Sand Martins, 40 Swallows, and 11 House Martins.

Monday, 6 April 2015

The day started off with thick fog encompassing most of the island but by late afternoon the majority had dissipated, leaving just Nant in the gloom. Perhaps lost in the mist, the year’s first two Sandwich Terns were found fishing in Solfach.

A small clear-out of yesterday’s migrants occurred but high numbers could still be found at the Plantation including 24 Chiffchaffs, 11 Willow Warblers, 38 Goldcrests, and a lone Blackcap. A total of 12 Sand Martins, 33 Swallows, and three House Martins passed over the island whilst two Buzzards, one Kestrel, two Merlins, one Collared Dove, one Grey Wagtail, 18 Wheatears, three Snipes, one Fieldfare, one Song Thrush, three Redwings, one Starling, two Siskins, one Lesser Redpoll, and two Reed Buntings were also to be found. On the Narrows three Ringed Plover, one Whimbrel, four Curlews, six Redshanks, and one White Wagtail were recorded.

In addition, some of the resident Little Owls have been particularly active recently (no doubt securing territories and mates for the year). Singing birds can be watched at all hours of the day sitting on the walls and gorse bushes, even hunting off fence posts feet from observers.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Today’s lovely weather, combined with the first real avian passage of the year, made for a great day to be in the field. Counts of 51 Chiffchaffs and 120 Goldcrests were made across the island, though most were recorded from Cristin and Nant. The first two Willow Warblers of the year sang in the Withies and in the Plantation whilst other interesting migrants include two Blackcaps, three Collared Doves, six Skylarks, one Sand Martin, four Swallows, two House Martins, 270 Meadow Pipits, 47 Pied Wagtails, nine White Wagtails, 30 Wheatears, one Fieldfare, one Redwing, one Rook, and two Jackdaws. Waders were well represented with three Ringed Plovers, one Purple Sandpiper, one Snipe, one Whimbrel, five Curlews, seven Redshanks, and three Turnstones. In addition, 31 Chaffinches, 17 Goldfinches, five Lesser Redpolls, two Reed Buntings, and two Starlings flew over, plus yesterday’s two Merlins still terrorised the Meadow Pipit and Linnet flocks, the Hooded Crow continued its residence on the Narrows, and a count of 16 Shelducks in Solfach was the highest this year.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Pleasant weather and a new group of eager volunteers meant the island was well covered today. Hirundine passage was the main news of the day with 24 Swallows, three Sand Martins, and the first House Martin of the year cruising past. Out at sea 63 Common Scoters headed through the Sound in the morning, whilst 14 Manx Shearwaters, 12 Gannets, and two Black-headed Gulls were also recorded. Singles of Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, and Kestrel competed with two mobile Merlins around the island, and the Narrows held three White Wagtails, two Curlews and a solitary Redshank. Elsewhere, one Skylark, 273 Meadow Pipits, 23 Wheatears, one Fieldfare, eight Chiffchaffs, 13 Goldcrests, two Jackdaws, one Rook, and a Reed Bunting were logged.

In other news, the first few butterflies of the year took wing today with Red Admiral, two Small Tortoiseshells, and five Peacocks seen.

Friday, 3 April 2015

A day of stronger northerly winds and light rain overnight meant that there was a greatly reduced movement of migrants on the island, and just a light scattering were present in the vegetated areas. A Little Egret over the wetlands in the morning was the highlight of the day, being the first of the year . A single Swallow was seen battling its way into the fresh northerly, and other passerine numbers amounted to the following: 110 Meadow Pipits, one White Wagtail, four Wheatears, four Redwings, three Chiffchaffs and nine Goldcrests. A Canada Goose was the only non-passerine of note, being the fourth record for the year.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

It was the first day for some time without a howling gale, and some low cloud and light rain in the early morning also gave a rather promising feel to the day. The first two Swallows of the year flew north during the day, along with 12 Sand Martins, whilst 214 Meadow Pipits, a White Wagtail, nine Wheatears, four Fieldfares, a Song Thrush, two Chiffchaffs, 15 Goldcrests, a Jackdaw, two Rooks and two Reed Buntings were recorded elsewhere. A flock of four Canada Geese were seen on the rocks in Henllwyn in the morning before flying northward a little while later; sea watching was relatively productive during the day, with one Red-throated Diver and two Great Northern Divers seen passing by; two Merlins were present on the West Coast, and the first Grey Heron of the year took up residence on Pwll Cain.

Wheatear numbers in the next week should rise significantly as the weather improves and the wind swings to the south-east. 


Male Stonechat