Thursday, 11 August 2022

The weather remained much the same with warm, sunny skies. Morning birding produced a Tree Pipit on the South End, a Whinchat on the Narrows, a Marsh Harrier through the Wetlands and two Lesser Redpolls over Cristin.
Pied Flycatcher © Ed Betteridge

The afternoon was spent visiting the East Side by boat to survey the last few remaining seabirds and to check for signs of Bird Flu (fortunately there was no sign!). The boat trip turned out to very successful in a different way; the trip started with the first Osprey of the year circling over Pen Cristin! This was followed by good numbers of Kittiwakes and six Sandwich Terns including a colour-flagged bird from Anglesey. The boat trip ended with close views of three Risso's Dolphins off the South End, this allowed us to get photos of each individuals dorsal fin the can be used to individually ID them. We would like to say a huge thank you to Gareth for an amazing trip! 

Osprey © Ed Betteridge

Sandwich Tern © Ed Betteridge

Risso's Dolphin © Ed Betteridge

Other birds included a Grey Heron, a Purple Sandpiper, two Dunlins, three Whimbrels, 50 Curlews, a Redshank, 10 Turnstones, seven Mediterranean Gulls, six Black-headed Gulls, six Sandwich Terns, two Guillemots, two Chiffchaffs, 36 Swallows, 113 House Martins, 14 Willow Warblers, two Spotted Flycatchers and 151 Linnets.  

Autumn Lady's Tresses © Steve Stansfield

Dunlin © Steve Stansfield

Wednesday, 10 August 2022

North-westerly winds and clear skies saw a large hirundine passage occur with a final total of 468 House Martins, 110 Swallows and two Sand Martins. The South End early morning produced an adult and juvenile Arctic Tern, a Tree Pipit and a  fly-over Little Egret. A Greenshank was also seen flying along the West Coast.

117 House Martins flying around the Lighthouse © Ed Betteridge

Little Egret © Ed Betteridge

Other birds recorded today included a Grey Heron, six Mallards, a Sparrowhawk, a Buzzard, two Kestrels, five Purple Sandpipers, four Whimbrels, 55 Curlews, eight Redshanks, 14 Turnstones, five Mediterranean Gull, 26 Black-headed Gull, two Sandwich Terns, three Swifts, 25 Wheatears, a Blackcap, Chiffchaff, 10 Willow Warblers, a Spotted Flycatchers and 257 Linnets.

Today with celebrated not one but two Island Birthdays with both Mari and Ed celebrating today!

Curry night to celebrate Ed's Birthday

Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Another glorious day on Bardsey; birding highlights included two juvenile Marsh Harriers together over the Mountain, 16 juvenile Mediterranean Gulls, two Spotted Flycatchers and a good count of 89 House Martins predominantly over Pen Cristin. Non-avian highlights today was six Harbour Porpoise and 12 Risso's Dolphins off the West Side and a Common Seal still in Henllywn. 

Spotted Flycatcher © Ed Betteridge
Other birds recorded included a Grey Heron, a Sparrowhawk, 3 Kestrel, 10 Whimbrels, 48 Curlews, three Redshanks, 12 Turnstones, eight Black-headed Gulls, a Common Gull, three Sand Martins, 86 Swallows, 27 Wheatears, three Sedge Warblers, two Chiffchaffs and 31 Willow Warblers.

Volunteers Kate and Tom busy ordering ringing recoveries © Ed Betteridge

Monday, 8 August 2022

Another ridiculously warm day on the Island with clear sunny skies; early morning birding produced two Little Egrets roosting with 96 Kittiwakes on the South End, the first Snipe of the autumn on the Narrows and a Tree Pipit in the Wetlands. During the day a good movement of nine Sand Martins, 96 Swallows and 26 House Martins occurred. The afternoon produced a male Redstart at Cristin and a fly-over Stock Dove

Redstart © Ed Betteridge
Kittiwake © Ed Betteridge 

Other birds a Grey Heron, two Mallards, a Kestrel, a Sparrowhawk, a Dunlin, three Whimbrels, 13 Curlews, two Redshanks, two Common Sandpipers, 28 Turnstones, 13 Mediterranean Gulls, two Sandwich Terns, three Sedge Warblers, four Whitethroats, six Blackcaps, two Chiffchaffs, 25 Willow Warblers, 139 Linnets. The non-avian highlight of the day was a Migrant Hawker over the rocks at the tip of the South End.

Sunday, 7 August 2022

The warm, clear skies produced some bird of prey movement with a Buzzard, a Sparrowhawk and two Kestrels alongside this years juvenile Peregrine. A Lapwing was flushed from the Narrows before landing on the South End and five Risso's Dolphins were off the West Side. 

Other birds logged today included a Grey Heron, two Whimbrels, 15 Curlews, five Redshanks, six Turnstones, five Mediterranean Gulls, three Black-Headed Gulls, three Sandwich Terns, a Sand Martin, five Chiffchaffs, 35 Willow Warblers, 17 Goldfinches and 129 Linnets.


Northern Eggar © Ed Betteridge

An afternoon swim off the West Coast produced a wide range of marine life including Common Blenny, Compass, Comb and Moon Jellyfish, Ballan Wrasse and Green Shore Crabs.

An underwater view of Bardsey!  © Ed Betteridge

Saturday, 6 August 2022

Another glorious day on Bardsey with a juvenile Cuckoo in the Wetlands, a Common Gull over the Narrows, a Kestrel hunting the Mountain and a White Wagtail on Solfach. Alongside these birds a second Common Seal was on Carrag Howny with the original one still in Henllywn. Today will also welcome Tom Williams who will be volunteering at the Observatory for the next week.

Common Gull © Ed Betteridge

Common Seal © Ed Betteridge

Other birds today was a Grey Heron, a Mallard, 32 Curlews, two Whimbrels and five Redshanks, two Common Sandpipers, three Turnstones, a Mediterranean Gull, seven Sandwich Terns, a Blackcap, a Chiffchaff and three Willow Warblers.

The day ended with a swim in Cafn including some Snorkelling which produced a range of marine life including Ballan Wrasse and Comb Jellies

Friday, 5 August 2022

A range of new arrivals around the Island today with a Buzzard over the Mountain, two Collared Doves and a Stock Dove at Ty Pellaf, a Painted Lady on Pen Cristin and 11 Mediterranean Gulls around the Narrows including a French green colour ringed bird.

Juvenile Mediterranean Gull © Ed Betteridge

Colour ringed juvenile Mediterranean Gull © Steve Stansfield

Other birds today included: a Grey Heron, a Whimbrel, 26 Curlews, six Redshanks, a Common Sandpiper, 23 Turnstones, 10 Sandwich Terns, a Song Thrush, three Sedge Warblers, three Whitethroats, a Blackcap, 24 Willow Warblers and nine Goldfinches

Sandwich Tern © Ed Betteridge

Thursday, 4 August 2022

A quieter day with a new Chiffchaff being caught in the Heligoland trap and a Common Gull flew along the West Coast along with 14 Sandwich Terns

Non-avian highlights of the day included 182 Grey Seals in Henllywn with a single Common Seal, eight Graylings on the Mountain top and a Migrant Hawker and Silver Y both at Pen Cristin

Other birds included four Whimbrels, a Redshank, a Curlew, six Turnstones, two Black-headed Gulls, four Feral Pigeons, two Sedge Warblers, a Blackcap and 12 Willow Warblers.

Adult and juvenile Wren © Ed Betteridge

Curlews © Ed Betteridge

The afternoon was spent ringing Manx Shearwater chicks in the remaining productivity burrows. 

Manx Shearwater chick © Ed Betteridge

An older chick © Ed Betteridge

Everyone ready for another famous Obs Curry Night © Ed Betteridge

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

 A warm, bright, sunny day on Bardsey produced a range of avian life. The Narrows and the South End over high tide produced 53 Curlews, four Whimbrels, 15 Redshank, a Purple Sandpiper, 33 Turnstones and a Common Sandpiper. A flock of 20 Sandwich Terns were the first for a while along with 6 juvenile Mediterranean Gulls

Sandwich Terns © Ed Betteridge

Colour ringed Sandwich Tern from County Antrim, Northern Island © Ed Betteridge

Other birds total included a Grey Heron, a Cuckoo, a Swift, three Blackcaps and 21 Willow Warblers, including a new brood of 4 at Nant.

Fresh juvenile Willow Warbler © Ed Betteridge

The afternoon was spent ringing Manxie productivity chicks around Pen Cristin.

Manx Shearwater chick ringing © Kate Fox

Manx Shearwater chick © Kate Fox

Tuesday, 2 August 2022

A fogging and wet day saw a good number Willow Warblers dotted around the Island with 54 logged including six being caught in the Heligoland trap alongside two juvenile Stonechats. The first Purple Sandpiper of the autumn was in Solfach, a juvenile Cuckoo was at Nant and three juvenile Mediterranean Gulls were in Henllywn, 

Stonechat © Kate Fox

Other birds of note included a Grey Heron, 12 Whimbrels, 11 Curlews, nine Redshanks, two Common Sandpipers, a Turnstone, a Swift, a Song Thrush and a Sedge Warbler

The evening was spent with a barbeque to celebrate Emma's Birthday! The weather unfortunately turned late evening which meant we had to see how many people could squeeze into the Common Room! 

Steve working hard cooking all the food
Just a few sausages!

Monday, 1 August 2022

 A calm day on the Island resulted in a large full of Willow Warblers with 90 logged including 36 trapped and ringed at Cristin. The calm seas resulted in good views of Risso's Dolphins off the West Coast in the morning. Other highlights included three Teals in Solfach (the first of the autumn) and 43 Redshanks (highest count of the year).

Willow Warbler © Ed Betteridge

Other birds logged today was a Grey Heron, five Mallards, two Dunlins, three Whimbrels, 2 Curlews, a Common Sandpiper, two Turnstones, 2 Mediterranean Gulls, a Black-headed Gull, three Sandwich Terns, a Swift and 63 Linnets.

Peregrine © Ed Betteridge

Sunday, 31 July 2022

A breezy day across on Bardsey resulted in a small influx of Mediterranean Gulls with 18 recorded across the Island alongside a Common Gull and three Black-Headed Gulls. Three Sandwich Terns were fishing in Henllywn, with a further 2 along the West Coast. The sea also contained 10-15 Common Dolphins (including three calves) and 7 Risso's Dolphins. Waders recorded today included four Whimbrel, five Curlews, 11 Redshanks, two Ringed Plovers, two Common Sandpipers, 22 Turnstones and five Dunlins.

The Buddleia at Cristin is now in full bloom and today held two Hummingbird Hawk-moths, 2 Peacocks and three Red Admirals

Hummingbird Hawk-moth © Ed Betteridge

Other birds logged today included ten Common Scoters, a Kestrel, a Grey Heron, two Swifts and three Willow Warblers.

The night saw us ringing Storm Petrels at the North End with a respectable 30 being caught.

Storm Petrel © Ed Betteridge

Saturday, 30 July 2022

Strong south-westerlies that later in the day petered out brought few new birds, resulting in a Whimbrel, three Curlews, 14 Redshanks, a Black-headed Gull, two Swifts and four Willow Warblers all being recorded. The only real arrival of note was Ed returning from his recent holiday and Kate Fox who is volunteering for a month to assist with all the work at the Obs!

Redshank © Ollie King

Friday, 29 July 2022

Last night Steve and Ollie went to the North End for another Storm Petrel ringing session, which ended up being the most productive one yet of the year, with 46 birds caught in total - 30 newly ringed and 16 retraps or controls (birds ringed elsewhere and re-caught here). During the session, a Greenshank was heard calling, the first for the year - which takes the year list up to 132. 

Storm Petrel © Steve Stansfield

During the day, there was little migrant turnover though still some passage noted, with a Whimbrel, eight Curlews, 12 Redshanks, three Common Sandpipers, eight Turnstones, a juvenile Mediterranean Gull, a Black-headed Gull, and a Swift.

At sea, seven Risso's Dolphins were sighted off the West Coast, some of which were splashing about and almost clearing the water!

The highlight of the day was undoubtedly from the moth trap, in the form of a Rosy Footman - the 2nd record for the Island and a stunning specimen! 

Rosy Footman © Steve Stansfield

Later in the afternoon, the nets were opened at Cristin to try and catch some of the young Swallows on the Island, which resulted in four new juveniles ringed.

Sunset © Ollie King

Thursday, 28 July 2022

Calm winds last night were ideal for more Storm Petrel ringing, so we led a guided walk combining 'Meet the Manxies' and Stormie mist netting. Equipped with a fully functioning sound system, we ended up catching 24 Stormies in total, with 21 newly ringed and three retraps. 

Storm Petrel © Ollie King 

The balmy conditions continued for the rest of the day which resulted in little species turnover. 24 Curlews, a Whimbrel, nine Redshanks, a Common Sandpiper, six Turnstones, a Lapwing, two Ringed Plovers, two Mediterranean Gulls, a Buzzard, and three Willow Warblers were the migrant highlights of the day. 

Mediterranean Gull  © Ollie King 

We led another Manxie chick walk this afternoon, showing guests the monitoring process for burrows up at Ty Pellaf and Pen Cristin. The chicks continue to pile on the pounds, with a couple over 540g now! They'll keep on bulking up for a few more weeks before slimming down and forming their flight feathers. 

The moth trap pulled in a good haul last night with x of x species, including a Dusky Brocade, a Dunbar, and an Anania coranata

Anania coronata © Ollie King 

A competitive game of footy on the Narrows, followed by a quick dunk in the sea wrapped up another gorgeous summers day!



Wednesday, 27 July 2022

Yet another gorgeous day on the Island filled with warm, golden sunshine that was accompanied with a bit of passage, including 43 Curlews, four Redshanks, a Lapwing on Carreg yr Honwy, eight Turnstone, a Black-headed Gull, four Sandwich Terns, and 11 Willow Warblers

The nets were opened at Cristin this morning and most the birds caught were juveniles fledged this year, including a Swallow, a Linnet, a Stonechat, a Robin, two Wrens, a Dunnock, and seven Willow Warblers - all in their fresh lemon yellow plumage!

Barn Swallow © Ollie King

Whilst walking through the net rides, the first Migrant Hawker of the year was seen above the Heligoland Trap. A couple dragonflies have been seen beforehand but too briefly to ID to species level.

In the afternoon, Steve and Ollie went Manx Shearwater chick ringing at the North End, where they ringed 20 chicks - most of which were from burrows that we're monitoring for productivity and growth rates. 

Manxie chick © Ollie King


Tuesday, 26 July 2022

Light winds and clear skies ended up with few migrants being recorded today, though six Common Sandpipers, three Whimbrels, 16 Curlews, four Redshanks, a Lapwing, two Mediterranean Gulls, a Black-headed Gull, 12 Sandwich Terns, and two Willow Warblers all being logged. 

In the morning, all Island inhabitants has a meeting with Tessa from Biosecurity for Life to discuss the biosecurity of the island, learning about the best ways to prevent invasive species entering as well as how to monitor for their presence. 

A productive meeting! © Tessa Coledale

Later on in the afternoon, we led a general wildlife guided walk for the guests. It's getting harder to show them the auks that breed here as almost all of them have bred and fledged! The Kittiwakes and Fulmars still provide entertainment. 

The moth trap was put out again after a small hiatus due to poor weather, and caught 96 of 20 species.

Monday, 25 July 2022

Strong westerlies made for a good start to autumnal sea-watching, as seabirds start their return passage post breeding. The highlights were a pale morph Long-tailed Skua, 10 Sandwich Terns, three 'Commic' Terns (Arctic or Common Terns too distant to ID), 400 Kittiwakes, five Mediterranean Gulls, five Black-headed Gulls, a Common Gull, and 1000 Manx Shearwaters (estimation). Four Harbour Porpoises were also sighted off the West Coast.

Sandwich Tern © Ollie King

On land, migrants were also passing through, with the first Turnstones of the autumn (16), two Common Sandpipers, a Lapwing, a Sanderling, 13 Whimbrels, 19 Curlews, 12 Redshanks, a Cuckoo at Nant, 11 Willow Warblers, and the lingering juvenile Marsh Harrier

Sanderling © Ollie King