Thursday, 20 October 2016

With the winds returning to their favoured state of a light breeze from the north-east, and the sun revealing itself by midday, birds were flooding through the island. The calm conditions, left the sea at a settled state, which made a Great Northern Diver, 33 Gannets, four Eiders, 23 Common Scoters, 14 Mediterranean Gulls, 703 Kittiwakes and most impressively a Whooper Swan, all the more obvious. Two Merlins continued to hunt across the island travelling between the South End and the West Side, searching for prey. Meanwhile, two Jack Snipes and three Common Snipes, skulked in the Wetlands, hiding from the marauding raptors. Elsewhere, four Water Rails were heard in the withies, and two Golden Plovers were seen briefly over the Mountain. A good passage of Skylarks was noted, with 70 being logged flying over the island today, along with the years second record of Woodlark! Four Swallows were also seen flying over the Wetlands in the afternoon, the last stragglers of the year, before the winter truly establishes itself. Meadow Pipits saw an obvious increase today as well, with 192 logged, a further four Grey Wagtails were heard overhead and a small number of Wheatear, also put in an appearance totalling six birds.

The usual warblers continued to be seen across the island, with four Blackcaps, two Yellow-browed Warblers, seven Chiffchaffs, one Willow Warbler, 54 Goldcrests and two Firecrests recorded.

Yellow-browed Warbler

However, the main talking point of the day was the exciting thrush and finch passage recorded across the island, which primarily took place in the morning when the sun was still stuck behind clouds. An impressive 67 Blackbirds, 38 Fieldfares, 25 Song Thrushes and 146 Redwings moved through the island, some stopping to feed before moving on. The same winds brought with them a selection of finches and in good number. Altogether, 224 Chaffinches, ten Bramblings, one Greenfinch, 28 Siskins, 13 Goldfinches, 59 Linnets and five Lesser Redpolls were seen, making up an enjoyable day of census on the island.

Also moving through were a Hooded Crow, 165 Starlings and three Reed Buntings.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Another windy start to the day though from dawn it was clear a few new birds had arrived overnight. Star of the show went to an overdue Little Bunting discovered on the Mountainside between Carreg Bach and Ty Capel. Though only the 15th record for Bardsey, and the first since 2012, this bird comes bang on cue with large numbers coming into Britain from the East in the last few weeks. In the evening the bird was trapped and ringed becoming the seventh to be ringed on the island.

Seabirds were not moving in quite the numbers seen yesterday but still one Fulmar, one Manx Shearwater, 142 Gannets, 27 Common Scoters, eight Mediterranean Gulls, 561 Kittiwakes, and 949 Razorbills were recorded with a little effort.

Some overhead visible migration came back into the fray with 14 Skylarks, one (rather late) Tree Pipit, four Grey Wagtails, 17 Jackdaws, four Rooks, 26 Starlings, three Bramblings, one Greenfinch, 11 Siskins, three Lesser Redpolls, and one Reed Bunting all seen and/or heard in the morning.

Asides from the Little Bunting a collection of thrushes comprising one Fieldfare, eight Song Thrushes, 30 Redwings, and one Mistle Thrush, alongside one Yellow-browed Warbler, nine Chiffchaffs, and 42 Goldcrests were the best finds inland. A single Wigeon lingered, two Buzzards soared, whilst one Kestrel, one Merlin, five Water Rails, and seven Snipes were noted. A highlight in the late afternoon was a group of six Risso’s Dolphins off the West Coast.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

The right time of the year, right wind direction and strength can produce some incredible passage past the island out at sea as migrating birds are pushed closer in shore, today those few elements came together for a great spectacle. Gannets, although not the most numerous species passing, headed south continually throughout the day in fantastic numbers and by the end of the day 898 were counted. The first Fulmars in weeks made headway, cruising over the monstrous swell along with a Sooty Shearwater and seven Manx Shearwaters as auks also powered south, mostly Razorbills of which a respectable 2,433 were logged, intermingled in the flocks were small numbers of Guillemots amounting to 73. Skuas also moved through, even though as October progresses skuas become more and more scarce decent counts totalled three Pomarine Skuas, six Arctic Skuas and four Great Skuas. Amongst the flurry of seabirds gulls passed and fed along the running currents and tidelines. Mixed flocks moved around the island, mostly comprising of Kittiwakes, of which 4,068 were logged but decent numbers of other species were also present. These were 384 Black-headed Gulls picked out amongst the masses of Kittiwakes, 15 Mediterranean Gulls most of which were adults, 53 Common Gulls, nine Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 55 Herring Gulls and a fantastic movement of 44 Greater Black-backed Gulls. A passage of pale bellied Brent Geese occurred off the West Coast as six were recorded, additional passage came in the form of summer plumaged Great Northern Diver traveling north, juvenile Little Gull, Black Tern, 18 Golden Plovers and 45 Common Scoters.

Whilst there was a lot of movement out at sea very little moved inland but some species had increased by small margins. Goldcrests were fairly abundant with 43 counted flitting restlessly amongst the trees around the island and with them a single Blackcap.  The Yellow-browed Warbler remained in the Withies and six Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler and Firecrest were additional warblers. Thrushes, although still around, resided in smaller numbers with 13 Blackbirds, a Song Thrush and ten Redwings were logged. Minimal finch passage was detected as groups passed overhead mostly consisting of 35 Goldfinches, whilst four Chaffinches, five Linnets and two Redpolls were also recorded. A late House Martin bombed north and other notable sightings included three Grey Herons, two Merlins, three Water Rails, four Skylarks, three Grey Wagtails, 116 Starlings and a Reed Bunting.

Presumably the same Bar-tailed Godwit held its presence around the Narrows along with a Dunlin, three additional birds passing by the North Hide, 34 Turnstones, 11 Redshanks and 37 Oystercatchers. Elsewhere a Jack Snipe, six Snipes, 48 Curlews and two Whimbrels made up the numbers.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Strong south-westerly winds continued to batter the coast today, and brought with them heavy showers, occasionally broken by sunshine. Following yesterday’s sighting, the small hide on the South End was once again full, in hope of another view of the monster that had graced the shores of Bardsey a mere 24 hours before. Unfortunately, attempts were fruitless, but a good passage of seabirds was noted none the less. Ten Manx Shearwaters were seen, some of the last of the season, making their way south. A Belearic Shearwater was picked out amongst them, given away by its chubby build and darker underparts. A steady stream of other sea birds was also logged including, 265 Gannets, 16 Common Scoters, two Arctic Skuas, four Great Skuas, 19 Mediterranean Gulls, 4775 Kittiwakes and 1349 Razorbills.

On land a Grey Heron was still lingering, and a Wigeon was seen briefly in Solfach. A Merlin, was still seen on the South End hunting. Water Rail numbers rose to five today, with a couple in the Withies. Wader highlights were made up of one Ringed Plover, one Golden Plover, seven Purple Sandpipers, one Dunlin, one Bar-tailed Godwit and 43 Turnstones, whilst a Jack Snipe and three Common Snipes were flushed from the Wetlands. The Withies also produced a Woodcock, a bird which we hope to see more of as the winter begins to properly set in. A total of 17 Skylarks were dotted around the island, and two Swallows and three Wheatears were late passage birds. Thrushes have slowed down again, with only nine Blackbirds, three Song Thrushes and two Redwings recorded.

Warblers are still inhabiting the bushes and trees of the island, two Blackcap, two Yellow-browed Warblers, ten Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler, 34 Goldcrests and two Firecrest were all present today.

 One of the resident Little Owls in it's usual spot in Nant Valley

Yellow-browed Warbler

Sunday, 16 October 2016

The morning started on a damp note with the forecasted downpour drenching the island until 8am. Upon this break in the rain it became obvious a large movement of seabirds were moving southwards off the West Coast; no doubt linked to the Force 8 South-westerly winds battering the coastline. At 0920, amongst the throngs of Gannets, Auks, and Kittiwakes, a veritable leviathan manifested into view, none other than a BLACK-BROWED ALBATROSS! The immature bird loomed over Carreg Yr Honwy heading south slowly with not a flap of its wings on route. A quick radio call meant an observer on the South End picked it up flying close in, watched it linger offshore, and then round the tip of the island. Amazingly, this tremendous bird was seen again off the South at both 1145 and 1250, each time giving brief but good views to a few present. This becomes the first record of Black-browed Albatross for Bardsey (though Albatross sp. were recorded in 1976 and 2005) and only the third record for Wales, following one off Skokholm on 19th August 1990 and an adult off of South Stack Anglesey on 12th February 2005.

Though dwarfed by the aforementioned Albatross further interest at sea summed to one Great Northern Diver, two Sooty Shearwaters, 12 Manx Shearwaters, 183 Gannets, 24 Common Scoters, one Pomarine Skua, three Arctic Skuas, five Great Skuas, two Mediterranean Gulls, 35 Common Gulls, and 15 Guillemots. The two biggest movers put on a spectacle as 4154 Kittiwakes and 3967 Razorbills were logged.

Waders have diminished in recent weeks with two Golden Plovers, one Dunlin, and two Snipes the only obvious migrants seen today. Loitering around the island were four Wigeons, one Kestrel, two Water Rails, one Wheatear, four Song Thrushes, seven Redwings, six Blackcaps, two Yellow-browed Warblers, six Chiffchaffs, 31 Goldcrests, three Firecrests, and one Coal Tit.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

A Corncrake discovered in the lowlands sneaking amongst a gorse and bramble patch was the clear highlight of the day in which there weren't masses of new migrants but interesting sightings throughout the day kept autumn ticking over. A couple of Yellow-browed Warblers remained in the Withies, one of them baring a ring and presumably the bird caught there in prior days.

A small arrival of Blackcaps were seemingly fresh in as ten were recorded spread around the island, accompanying them were 17 Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler, 46 Goldcrests and a Firecrest. A noisy and restless pair of Coal Tits, seemingly unringed and hence different from the individuals caught the day before, buzzed around Nant and the Plantation during the morning whilst small numbers of finches were recorded passing overhead, 17 Chaffinches, two Siskins, 12 Goldfinches, 15 Linnets and a Lesser Redpoll being the final totals. Thrushes were present in small numbers with Blackbirds being the most numerous, 18 seen, a Ring Ouzel sheltering in the Withies, nine Song Thrushes and 16 Redwings the only other sightings. Additional birds included a Skylark, 10 Stonechats, two Wheatears and three Water Rails resided.

Jack Snipes are notoriously elusive and difficult to accurately monitor due to their nature, most of the time only bursting from cover at the last second when the observer is sometimes just feet away, two were flushed from the edges of Pwll Cain, the largest of the fresh water ponds in the centre of the island. A pair of Common Snipes were also present there and towards the Narrows and the South End two Purple Sandpipers rested on the low tide rocks offshore, a Dunlin was on Solfach and a Whimbrel, 32 Curlews, two Redshanks and 14 Turnstones were also logged.

Offshore three Wigeon, a Teal, 23 Mallards and a Common Scoter were the only wildfowl recorded. Only a couple of seabird species were seen passing the island during the day, those included 17 Gannets and 185 Razorbills and small numbers of gulls were present both moving through and residing on the island, two adult Mediterranean Gulls, singles of Black-headed Gull and Common Gulls, five Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 27 Herring Gulls, two Greater Black-backed Gulls and 116 Kittiwakes.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Although it was a fairly quiet day there were some new arrivals present on the island which kept the day interesting. The Radde's Warbler found and then trapped the previous day was spotted briefly on the side of the mountain above the Plantation and down into Nant Valley  skulking through the dense bracken there before disappearing again. A small group of five Coal Tits were trapped and ringed at the Plantation then proceeded to spend the day restlessly moving in the tops of the pines, noisily calling to each other. Normally an annual bird but not in great numbers aside from years where influxes take place, as happened last season. Yellow-browed Warblers were again present, four individuals spent the day in various locations around the island, one of them later being trapped in the Withies. Accompanying them amongst the vegetation were reasonable numbers of other warblers, five Blackcaps, 15 Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler, 51 Goldcrests and a smart Firecrest which was found in the Heligoland Trap in the observatory garden.

Handsome female Firecrest
Female Firecrest and male Goldcrest for comparison
A Ring Ouzel hid amongst the bramble patches in the Lowlands and although not in any outstanding tallies thrushes amounted to 18 Blackbirds, a Fieldfare, five Song Thrushes and five Redwings. Robins totalled at 36, still a respectable amount but numbers possibly trailing off slightly over the past few days, whilst 16 Stonechats, two Wheatears and a steady finch passage with 53 Chaffinches, two Siskins, five Goldfinches and two Lesser Redpolls mostly passed overhead. Water Rails, one in the Observatory garden, two in the Withies and one in the Green Lane were heard, a Skylark passed overhead heading north, a flock of 41 Starlings roamed through the Lowlands and 40 Meadow Pipits, 25 Rock Pipits, three Grey Wagtails, and three Pied Wagtails were also seen.

The extremely elusive Barn Owl was still present as new fresh feathers were found around the Plantation, some of the outbuildings close by were checked for any signs but none were present, perhaps for now the dense pines of the Plantation are its preferred roost. A pair of Sparrowhawks continued to hunt and occasionally tussle together around Nant, meanwhile a Kestrel preferred the grassy Lowlands and the mountain slopes, a Merlin was present on the South End, two Peregrines, possibly one of the breeding pairs, soared high over the North End and two Little Owls were also logged.

Barn Owl feather
Wader numbers continued to fluctuate day to day, Oystercatchers being the most numerous at the moment today numbering 34. At high tide counts of 32 Turnstones, six Redshanks, and two Whimbrels resided around the Narrows. Elsewhere three Common Snipes and 29 Curlews were seen.

Smalls numbers around the coasts were counted and very little passed by the island off shore. Gannets and Razorbills were present in small numbers, a Wigeon, 16 Mallards and two Common Scoters were the only wildfowl noted and gull-wise four Black-headed Gulls, seven Common Gulls, two Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 12 Herring Gulls, four Greater Black-backed Gulls and 156 Kittiwakes were seen

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Winds persisted to blow from the east today, and teamed with thick cloud cover it held promises of rare eastern birds blown off course. The day provided just that! A Radde’s Warbler was found in the morning at Plas Withy, following some brief, but close views, the bird disappeared into the undergrowth. Despite extensive searching, the bird wasn’t relocated again until the afternoon, when it reappeared at Nant. The nets were opened and shortly thereafter the bird was caught and duly processed. This constitutes only the sixth record for Bardsey and the ninth for Wales!

Today's Radde's Warbler

Seawatching was reasonably productive today, despite calm conditions a Pintail, an Eider, 13 Common Scoters, a Great Skua and 86 Razorbills were recorded, largely being seen of the South End.

A Merlin was still present on the island hunting any of the smaller passerines. Whilst two Water Rails were heard squealing in the Withies and four Snipes were flushed from the Wetlands. Three Skylarks and eight Grey Wagtails migrated over the island as well today. Thrushes continue to pass through the island, some stopping, resting and feeding and others just moving through to their wintering grounds. Thrush totals consisted of 17 Blackbirds, two Fieldfares, six Song Thrushes and eight Redwings. Warblers are also still migrating through the island, five Blackcap, five Yellow-browed Warblers, 10 Chiffchaffs, one Willow Warbler and 28 Goldcrests were on the island today. Also of note were a party of Coal Tit numbering three individuals which are the first of the autumn.

And one of the five Yellow-browed Warblers seen today

The Hooded Crow lingered, being seen on the South End and North West Fields. Finches are also starting to grow in number now, 63 Chaffinches, one Brambling, 19 Siskins, one Lesser Redpoll and a Bullfinch were all logged. Three Reed Buntings were also seen today which mark the beginning of migration for this species, which should increase in number of the next few weeks.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Another great day with a mixture of interesting island records. A pair of pristine summer-plumaged Black-throated Divers flying East through the Sound late morning were of particular note. A scarce bird in these parts and nearly always an autumn fly-by.

The island’s 18th record of Woodlark continues to play hide-and-seek with today’s sightings coming from the arable fields in the North-west. Another batch of thrush arrivals produced one Ring Ouzel, 23 Blackbirds, four Fieldfares, eight Song Thrushes, 32 Redwings, one Mistle Thrush, whilst two Kestrels and two Merlins can be found hunting across the island. Two Wheatears were on the Narrows, six Wigeons were loafing off the West Coast, and four Water Rails skulked in the withies.

Fieldfare (above) and Redwing (below), both ringed at Cristin today

The continued arrival of Yellow-browed Warblers slowed today with just one present in Ty Pellaf Withy, though other warblers amounted to 12 Blackcaps, 21 Chiffchaffs, and 40 Goldcrests.

A Richard’s Pipit south over the Mountainside towards Pen Cristin was the highlight of overhead passage though a late Swallow was also notable. A single Grey Wagtail called over whilst finch passage totalled 30 Chaffinches and two Bramblings. Highlights wader-wise today include a Golden Plover, two Purple Sandpipers, and the lingering Bar-tailed Godwit.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Thrushes again featured heavily with a turnover of new birds passing through the island, something that is evident through the ringing of birds as new individuals are captured each day. A pair of Fieldfares resided in the Wetlands whilst close by a Ring Ouzel moved around the Lowlands. Redwings, although present, didn't pass over in large numbers but a respectable 53 were logged, also seen was a fantastic 40 Blackbirds and ten Song Thrushes.

One of the very dapper Blackbirds around at the moment
Passage of the more common, and probably generally overlooked, species was evident and by the end of the day an impressive 83 Wrens, 30 Dunnocks and 54 Robins had been noted. Yellow-browed Warblers totalled three today including a lingering individual which was trapped in the Withies. A decent number of Goldcrests scattered around the island amounted to 71, not as numerous as the previous day but still in good numbers, they were joined by 16 Blackcaps and 21 Chiffchaffs. Woodlark discovered up at Nant was one of the highlights on the passerine front although fairly decent movements of other birds did occur. Skylarks passed overhead, some detectable on an audible level as they flew high above the island. A selection of finches were also noted throughout the day, 22 Chaffinches, two Bramblings, four Greenfinches, eight Siskins, 54 Goldfinches, 30 Linnets and two Lesser RedpollsWater Rails are extremely secretive and well know to be hard to monitor due to their sneaky nature, however six were recorded today, most of them occupying the Withies periodically squealing as the only clue to their location. 

Pairs of SparrowhawksCommon BuzzardsMerlinsPeregrines and single Kestrel were all raptors noted, meanwhile five Little Owls called across the island. A Hooded Crow was picked out amongst the various corvids present on the island, other numbers amounted to 16 Magpies, 15 Choughs, a Rook, 43 Carrion Crows and eight Ravens. Numbers of pipits and wagtails have been slowly decreasing over the past days, Meadow Pipits were the most numerous with 85 counted, 22 Rock Pipits, a Grey Wagtail, four Pied Wagtails and one Alba Wagtail made up the rest of the numbers. Other notables around today were the presence of three Grey Herons, 11 Stonechats, two Wheatears, 33 Starlings and three Reed Buntings.

Relatively quite around, and off, the coast with small movements of a variety of species. The clear highlight was the ninth record of Gadwall, a female on the water out from Solfach. Just off shore one Cormorant and 21 Shags could be seen bobbing in the surf and settled on the rocks whilst 23 Mallards and four Wigeons resided along the West Coast. Further out 14 Gannets, 24 Razorbills, and ten Common Scoters passed by. Small numbers of gulls were also logged, 15 Black-headed Gulls, two Common Gulls, 23 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 19 Herring Gulls, 14 Greater Black-backed Gulls and 36 Kittiwakes being the totals.

Common Snipes, numbering six today, were concentrated mostly through the centre of the island, favouring the wet tussocky Wetlands and Lowlands. Around the Narrows 16 Oystercatchers, 32 Curlews, six Redshanks and 13 Turnstones were the only other waders seen.

Well into the Autumn now as expected numbers of Lepidoptera slowly decrease as the calmer warmer summer months come to an end, that said a decent number were still counted. Green-veined Whites clocked in at 11, four Painted Lady's and three Silver Y's were also seen but the most abundant over the past few days was again the Red Admiral which totalled at 44.

Monday, 10 October 2016

An unbroken light north-easterly wind remained to blow through the island today, continuing on from the favourable weather front we’ve been having. The cloud began to role in early in the morning and brought with it some light showers at points, giving way too sunshine by the afternoon. Yellow-browed Warblers were still occupying parts of the island today, with a total of 5 seen. Another highlight of the day was two Pintails, which were picked up flying past the West Side. Five Wigeons and 13 Common Scoters comprised the other wildfowl totals.

Yellow-browed Warbler ringed at the obs

Two Merlins continued to hunt over the South End, but the majority of stuff today was seen elsewhere. A good amount of Thrushes was seen today, obvious signs of a colder weather front heading our way, 42 Blackbirds, three Fieldfares, 16 Song Thrushes and 22 Redwings were seen. A large proportion of the winter thrushes were seen flying over, more “Vismig” produced interesting totals with 13 Skylarks, one Tree Pipit and five Grey Wagtails.

Warblers were moving through the island today, with an impressive amount of Goldcrests logged at the end of the day. Aside from the Yellow-browed Warblers mentioned earlier, 11 Blackcaps, 15 Chiffchaffs, two Willow Warblers and 114 Goldcrests were seen today. Both Corvid and Finch passage was also recorded on the island today, with the autumn’s first Hooded Crow seen over the South End in the morning. Further corvid counts included 12 Jackdaws, 27 Rooks, 50 Carrion Crows and six Ravens. Whereas, one Brambling, two Greenfinches, 16 Siskins, 97 Goldfinches and one Lesser Redpoll were the finch totals. Other signs of migration were six Water Rails, nine Snipes and six Reed Bunting.

Finally, a sign of a Barn Owl on the island was found at Ty Nesaf this afternoon, in the form of a feather. This is only the second record of this secretive species this year.

Barn Owl feather

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Today was the prefect mix of low-lying cloud cover in the morning gradually drifting away in a calm easterly breeze. All this equates to more birds for Bardsey. It took just minutes after dawn for the first Yellow-browed Warbler to be found, followed by another, and another, and eventually giving a final day total of 14 birds. This fantastic haul represents a new Welsh record day total for a single site. These fantastic Siberian scarcities were mixed in with a decent arrival of 31 Chiffchaffs, 75 Goldcrests, one Sedge Warbler, one Reed Warbler, ten Blackcaps, and one Firecrest.

One of three Yellow-browed Warblers ringed today

Visible migration was evident from first light as 102 Skylarks, two Grey Wagtails, 71 Chaffinches, two Bramblings, two Siskins, 146 Goldfinches, 71 Linnets, three Lesser Redpolls, two Lapland Buntings, two Reed Buntings, the first Richard’s Pipit of the autumn flew south.

More interest laid inland with our third Quail of the year found in the North-west Fields, following singles seen in May and June. Decent thrush arrival summed to one Ring Ouzel, 24 Blackbirds, nine Song Thrushes, 47 Redwings, and the first Mistle Thrush of the autumn. A good count of four Water Rails on the island today included one trapped in the Heligoland at Cristin! Further sightings inland include two Sparrowhawks, four Kestrels, 48 Robins, three Wheatears, two Starlings and noticeable corvid passage of 62 Rooks, 58 Carrion Crows, and six Ravens.

Water Rail

Not a huge amount of sea passage was noted though a lone Manx Shearwater, six Wigeons, 17 Teals, 19 Common Scoters, and three Mediterranean Gulls were logged.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

A Red-breasted Flycatcher found in a mist net during a mornings ringing session was a fantastic find of this regularly occurring rare migrant. Just as exciting as a rarity was a good day of passage of more common migrants that occurred today. Thrushes were again present in decent numbers with three Ring Ouzels, 26 Blackbirds, nine Song Thrushes and 26 Redwings logged. The first decent movement on finches was also noted as small groups passed overhead throughout the day and amounted to 100 Chaffinches, two Bramblings, ten Siskins 146 Goldfinches, 71 Linnets and three Lesser Redpolls. Yellow-browed Warblers had dropped to just two individuals however Chiffchaff numbers had risen with 48 seen, whilst other warblers totalled 16 Blackcaps, a Willow Warbler, 38 Goldcrests and the lingering male Firecrest. Robins are still evidently moving through the island with an excellent tally again numbering 52, a female Common Redstart was spotted along the West Coast with 26 Stonechats and two Wheatears logged. The first Reed Buntings of the Autumn put in an appearance passing over Pen Cristin, two Lapland Buntings resided on the South End, pipits and wagtails weighed in at 145 Meadow Pipits, 39 Rock Pipits, six Grey Wagtails, four Pied Wagtails and five Alba Wagtails and other notable sightings were the presence of three Water Rails, a Little Owl, five Skylarks and four Swallows.

Red-breasted Flycatcher

A female Marsh Harrier was pick up on a sea watch off shore and headed quickly south meanwhile a good selection of other raptors were noted across the island including a Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard, Kestrel, Merlin and two Peregrines. Corvids have started to move in small numbers, with birds from the mainland at this  time of year frequently visiting the island from the mainland.  Rooks and Carrion Crows formed noisy flocks above the island, in the North West Fields totalling 40 and 52 respectively, nine Ravens soared overhead and 26 Magpies and 26 Choughs were present. 

A Passage of Herring Gulls was evident today with birds moving south over the island, peaking by the end of the day at 316 birds. Not so numerous but in good numbers were Common Gulls, of which 38 were noted, whilst two adult Mediterranean Gulls, 20 Black-headed Gulls, four Lesser Black-backed Gulls, seven Greater Black-backed Gulls and eight Kittiwakes were also seen. Off the coasts occupying the bays and ponds inland were six Wigeons, seven Teals and 33 Mallards, and passing by further out were 11 Gannets, 202 Razorbills and 15 Common Scoters.

A Woodcock sneaking through the grass adjacent to the Plantation was the pick of the waders today although others were noted in reasonable numbers. A pair of Common Snipes were flushed further south on the land, a single Dunlin occupied Solfach whilst another was seen off the South End, two Ringed Plovers rested on the rocks just off the coast and two Whimbrels, 53 Curlews, eight Redshanks 39 Turnstones and 26 Oystercatchers were also logged.

Bizarrely a count of 71 Red Admirals, exactly the amount seen the previous day was again the total, a Large White flitted in one of the gardens to the north of the island, a Hummingbird Hawk Moth zipped around the Observatory and 18 Green-veined Whites, three Painted Lady's and five Silver Y's were also counted.

Friday, 7 October 2016

The winds again blew from the east winds but dropped slightly in strength bringing some new arrivals to the island and some real signs of Autumn. Numbers of thrushes were the most obvious increase, three Ring Ouzels scattered amongst the mountainside and gardens, giving away their locations with their hard "tok tok tok" calls before darting from cover in a flash of silvery wings. Similar in behaviour were the Song Thrushes, 12 seen today, which can be surprisingly secretive until flushed from cover emitting their high frequency "sip" flight call. The first small arrival of Redwings buzzed around the island in small flocks amounting to 47 by the end of the day and Blackbirds numbered 13. Yellow-browed Warblers reached four individuals today and although very elusive at times this stunning Asiatic warbler did provide some great views. A Little Egret passing down the West Coast was a nice surprise, as was a late Reed Warbler trapped in the Observatory garden, the bird was swiftly checked over to make sure it wasn't one of the rarer Acrocephalus Warblers that can occur at this time. Other warblers included 14 Blackcaps, nine Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler 20 Goldcrests and rather dapper male Firecrest which sang in one of the gardens around Nant. Stonechats had arrived in small numbers which totalled 35 and could be seen peppering the fence lines, banks and vegetation around the island, Robins were also recorded in great numbers, 49 today. Throughout the day passerines and even some of the corvids were harassed by a variety of raptors which included three Sparrowhawks, a Common Buzzard, two Kestrels, a Merlin and a pair of Peregrines. A Short-eared Owl was seen on the mountainside which quickly went to ground amongst the  gorse and bracken, four Little Owls were also recorded. Overhead a couple of Skylarks passed as did small clusters of hirundines, 44 Swallows and six House Martins. Whilst below a Water Rail, 194 Meadow Pipits, 20 Rock Pipits, a Wheatear, 40 Starlings, 17 Chaffinches,  a single Siskin, four Goldfinches and 30 Linnets were also recorded.

Another good day of Wildfowl with the 26th record of Shoveller for the island, following one this earlier is spring. This individual was a female and spent a while just off shore with seven Wigeons. Common Scoters passed by further out and totalled 31 by the end of the day with three Teals and 38 Mallards also spotted.

Wader numbers and variety have slowly decreased over the passed week, however good numbers and a couple of interesting sightings kept it ticking over on the wader front. Lapwings were a frequent breeder on the island many years ago, although never in massive numbers, but the odd pairs used to nest through the centre of the island where habitat was suitable. Unfortunately they are no longer a breeding bird here but we get them on passage with two individuals were seen flying over the mountains ridge today. A few Common Snipes were flushed from low lying fields, a Bar-tailed Godwit pitched down on Solfach and a single Whimbrel, 46 Curlews, two Redshanks, 19 Turnstones and 28 Oystercatchers were also noted.

A flurry of Red Admirals passed through and individuals could be seen slowly fluttering through and feeding on slowly diminishing crops of flowers in the gardens throughout the island. Green-veined Whites which numbered five and 14 Silver Y's were the only other additions of Lepidoptera.

A Red-throated Diver powering down the West Coast was probably the highlight of a very slow passage out at sea although there was a variety of species seen. An Arctic Skua and a reasonable number of Gulls were recorded however, including four Mediterranean Gulls, 78 Black-headed Gulls, 32 Common Gulls, 34 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 53 Herring Gulls, six Greater Black-backed Gulls and 603 Kittiwakes. A "Comic" Tern also passed, along with ten Gannets and 84 Razorbills.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Easterly winds continue to surge against the island, making viewing conditions challenging. However, a build-up of high pressure over Siberia and Scandinavia mean the winds are pushing through into Britain and Europe and bringing with them an array of Siberian birds. Here on Bardsey we are beginning to feel the effects of this great event, which are hopefully signs of things to come. Two new Yellow-browed Warblers were discovered today, sheltering in the Lighthouse Compound and Plas Withy respectively. Whilst a Siberian Chiffchaff was found at Nant in the gardens, feeding and showing with its more “common” counterpart Common Chiffchaff. With the favourable winds, thrushes are beginning to move through as well with one Ring Ouzel, 11 Song Thrushes and three Redwing seen on the island.

Other highlights of the day concerned birds of prey. In the morning a Short-eared Owl was flushed from the Wetlands and was seen briefly perched on the fence-line at Plas Withy. An Osprey was seen flying over the farm in the afternoon, slowly drifting making its way past, to the South End. This made up the 7th record this year, just one shy of the record in 2008 when an incredible 8 birds where seen in one year!

Seawatching today produced an interesting variety of species with six Wigeons, 59 Common Scoters, six Mediterranean Gulls, 68 Common Gulls, one Guillemot and 267 Razorbills seen. Also of note on the wildfowl side of things were six Teal and more impressively two female Pintail, which were quite an island rarity!

Some waders are still lingering around the island, one Lapwing was still present on the South End, eight Snipes were seen in the wetlands and lowlands, showing signs of a build-up in numbers. One Whimbrel, three Redshanks, one Dunlin and 13 Turnstones were also of note. Various other migrants continue to pass through, including: two Merlins, two Water Rails, two Flava Wagtails, a Grey Wagtail, eight Blackcaps, nine Chiffchaffs, two Willow Warblers, 34 Goldcrests, one Siskin and one Lapland Bunting.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

A fresh and breezy morning was similar to the last few days but it was a much calmer and altogether lovely afternoon with a gorgeous sunset too boot. Though nothing hugely rare made landfall there were highlights aplenty starting off with the first Ring Ouzel, Brambling and Woodcock of the autumn at Nant at dawn. Not too soon after the first Hen Harrier of the autumn was watched passing by at sea off the South End; this female becoming the second island record this year.

Sea-watching proved productive with a lone Balearic Shearwater gliding past and a Pomarine Skua harassing all at sea. Furthermore 26 Common Scoters, 24 Mediterranean Gulls, 568 Black-headed Gulls, 90 Common Gulls, 440 Kittiwakes, and 782 Razorbills were moving offshore.

A Lapland Bunting took pride of place on ‘vismig’ today moving southwards alongside four Skylarks, two Swallows, 133 Meadow Pipits, and 13 Grey Wagtails. Further migrants around the island include five Grey Herons, five Wigeons, one Teal, three Buzzards, one Kestrel, two Merlins, one Water Rail, one Lapwing, one Whinchat, four Song Thrushes, and two Redwings.

Lepidoptera movement proved interesting and pronounced with 54 Red Admirals, six Painted Lady’s, 26 Green-veined Whites, one Large White, one Hummingbird Hawkmoth, and 72 Silver Y’s recorded.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Strong easterly winds continued to gust across the island today bringing in some new migrants, most notable bringing an excellent variety of wildfowl which can sometimes be hard to come by on Bardsey. A flock of six Wigeons, including a stunning adult male passed by the West Coast as did three Eiders, two females and a young male, minutes later. Common Scoters moved in reasonable numbers and amounted to 34 individuals, whilst 32 Mallards occupied the West Coast bays and three Teals dropped into Solfach briefly. Star of the show however came in the form of a female Pintail discovered in Henllwyn, where it preened and rested for some time before joining a small group of Mallards on the west. A fantastic record and only the 44th time this species has occurred on the island since recording began. A very pale Balearic Shearwater added to a nice variety passing out at sea as did two Little Gulls, a first winter and adult bird and great numbers of other gulls logged including 14 Mediterranean Gulls, 420 Black-headed Gulls, 145 Common Gulls, 23 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 57 Herring Gulls, 18 Greater Black-backed Gulls and 311 Kittiwakes. Gannets numbered 56 and a single "Commic" Tern, two Guillemots and 33 Razorbills were also noted.

Yellow-browed Warbler numbers had risen to three now, two in the Withies and one at the Plantation, although the driving wind made viewing extremely difficult as the birds kept low and deep within vegetation, one was later trapped in a mist net in the afternoon when the winds had subsided (below). 

Other Warblers were fairly thin on the ground in  terms of numbers, two Blackcaps, seven Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler and 18 Goldcrests making up the numbers. A Wryneck discovered amongst the gorse by the School House added to a fantastic run of records this Autumn of this species. Doing what Wrynecks do best, it promptly darted from cover and disappeared. Wagtails were also fairly low in numbers with just one Grey Wagtail, a Pied Wagtail and four White Wagtails seen, however a Flava Wagtail around the Narrows and Lowlands was picked up but unfortunately didn't stop and was just heard a couple of times as it moved through. A Redwing and three Song Thrushes were a sign of things to come this Autumn as were 11 Starlings. A pair of Sparrowhawks, a Kestrel, two Merlins and a Peregrine cruised the island causing havoc with the other island residents and three Little Owls called from various locations. Robins were again present in high numbers with 41 counted,  two Water Rails squealed in the Withies, eight Common Snipes were flushed from cover and a Skylark and House Martin passed overhead. Meadow Pipits amounted to 68 and Rock Pipits 42, whilst seven Stonechats, six Blackbirds, three Chaffinches a Goldfinch and 62 Linnets were also seen.  

Grey Herons stalked the rock pools around the Narrows and South End and close by a Lapwing, seven Ringed Plovers, 14 Dunlins, a Bar-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, 42 Curlews, three Redshanks and 33 Turnstones were seen.

Considering the weather a reasonable count of Lepidoptera consisted of 12 Green-veined Whites, 11 Red Admirals and 12 Silver Y's.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Our prayers were answered today when the winds eventually swung around and showed a sniff of easterlies. The day proved to be blustery, but clear, sunny and pleasant. With some favourable winds, it wasn’t long before the first two Yellow-browed Warblers of the year were found in Ty Pellaf Withy and Nant Withy respectively, a much anticipated and awaited bird for the autumn. Other highlights of the day were a Jack Snipe found in the Wetlands amongst three Snipe and a Great Spotted Woodpecker in the garden, both the first records of the autumn.

Yellow-browed Warbler seen briefly in the bracken at Nant

Although conditions were far from ideal, those who watched the sea today were rewarded with 23 Common Scoters, two Pomarine Skuas, one Arctic Skua, four Mediterranean Gulls, one Little Gull, a good passage of 187 Black-headed Gulls and 357 Razorbills.

A good selection of waders continued to occupy the Narrows eight Ringed Plovers, 13 Purple Sandpipers, 17 Dunlins, one Bar-tailed Godwit, two Whimbrels, five Redshanks and 58 Turnstones were all seen feeding and resting in either Solfach or Henllwyn.

Some of the first signs of thrush passage were also visible with two Song Thrushes and two Redwings recorded. Three Merlins continued to hunt across the island as well, occasionally being seen bombing through chasing prey. Whilst other migrants across the island included, five Grey Herons, one Water Rail, nine Skylarks, 25 Swallows, one Tree Pipit, five Grey Wagtails, eight Chiffchaffs, two Willow Warblers, 26 Goldcrests, one Firecrest and a Spotted Flycatcher.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

After a few weeks of breezy south-westerlies it was great relief to the staff to see some calm easterly winds in the forecast. From just after dawn the forecast did not disappoint as the one of the biggest movements this autumn occurred. Overhead 523 Meadow Pipits streamed past heading south with birds present in good numbers from the Mountain top to the South tip. The sound of Skylarks followed suit with flocks totalling to 194 by the end of the day. The first two Tree Pipits for some time buzzed by as did 13 Grey Wagtails, 18 Pied Wagtails, four White Wagtails, 93 Swallows, and six House Martins. The first push of autumn finch passage comprised 40 Chaffinches, 14 Siskins, 102 Goldfinches, 177 Linnets, and six Lesser Redpolls mostly moving before midday. After the temperatures rose encouraging birds of prey and corvids to take to the air, with six Buzzards, one Kestrel, three Merlins, nine Rooks, and 26 Ravens thermalling over the island.

Birds could be seen moving offshore too with the first three Eiders of the year, two ducks and one drake, the obvious highlight. A total of 67 Gannets, 77 Manx Shearwaters, 32 Cormorants, eight Common Scoters, two Arctic Skuas, four Mediterranean Gulls, 122 Black-headed Gulls, 49 Common Gulls, 27 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 78 Herring Gulls, 675 Kittiwakes, two Sandwich Terns, and 347 Razorbills made for an enjoyable sea-watch.

An obvious arrival inland produced yet more Wrynecks with two seen on the Mountainside around Nant, continuing the fantastic autumn for this species on the island. Warbler numbers included two Grasshopper Warblers, one Garden Warbler, eight Blackcaps, 13 Chiffchaffs, two Willow Warblers, 41 Goldcrests, and best of all, a showy male Firecrest at Ty Capel, the first this autumn. Two Lapland Buntings continue finding the South End to their liking whilst other new arrivals such as two Water Rails, 24 Dunnocks, 27 Stonechats, ten Wheatears, two Song Thrushes, and one Starling made census even more enjoyable.

A noticeable increase in Lepidoptera included 26 Red Admirals, four Painted Lady’s, two Small Tortoiseshells, four Hummingbird Hawkmoths, and 31 Silver Y’s.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

It was a day of light north and north easterly winds, heavy drizzle in the morning which later cleared and very little in terms of sightings due to a lack of coverage rather than a real decrease in numbers.

A Short-eared Owl flying over Nant in the afternoon was certainly one of the highlights and we can expect to start finding more in the coming weeks as they stop over on the island. They can be found particularly amongst tussocks of grass in the wetlands and the dense bracken and gorse along the sides of the mountain. A pair of Lapland Buntings on the South End were also a great find, feeding with flocks of Meadow Pipits found in the area and proving to be fairly confiding birds, providing nice views. A Whinchat zipped between gorse bushes on the slopes of Pen Cristin whilst in the fields scattered around the island 129 Meadow Pipits, 14 Stonechats and three Wheatears could be seen. Rock Pipits amounted to 19 and small numbers of Wagtails were present including two flyover Grey Wagtails, nine Pied Wagtails and eight White Wagtails. Any visible migration overhead was almost non existent but a trickle of Skylarks numbering just three and 38 Swallows were recorded. Joining them above the island was an immature male Sparrowhawk, a Kestrel and Peregrine Falcon the later of which spent the day stooping and tussling with local corvids and anything crossing its territory. Below and amongst the vegetation on the island 34 Goldcrests busily fed amongst the Willows along with nine Chiffchaffs and a Willow Warbler. A small number of finches also resided here with three Chaffinches ,32 Goldfinches 160 Linnets and a single Lesser Redpoll. A Water Rail gave away its location squealing deep in cover and a Grey Heron, six Dunnocks, 27 Robins and six Blackbirds were also noted.

Common Snipes were the most notable wader of the day as five individuals were flushed from various parts of the island and a count around the Narrows at low tide produced very little with only nine Oystercatchers, five Curlews, three Redshanks and three Turnstones.

Lapland Bunting feeding amongst the Meadow Pipits on the South End

Friday, 30 September 2016

Inland a good variety of species were represented although not in huge numbers. A 'Flava' Wagtail called as it flew north through the centre of the island, appearing to head towards the cattle gathered there but was lost out of sight and not seen again. A Lapland Bunting took a similar path over the island just minutes beforehand but instead carried on and didn't appear to stop over. Amazingly the two Melodious Warblers, the long staying bird at the observatory and the recent addition in the Withies, were still present. The latter of the two, the unringed bird, finding its way into an open mist net later in the day. A Pied Flycatcher, new in, put in a brief appearance at the Plantation where Goldcrests were still in good numbers, 38 in total, most of which were at Nant.

Blackcaps had risen to five individuals today whilst Phylloscopus numbers trailed off with just three Chiffchaffs and three Willow Warblers seen. Passage of finches occurred again, not in great numbers but the start of the main passage to come. Chaffinches recorded came to six birds, four Siskins spent the morning at Nant and 56 Goldfinches were seen. Pipits were represented in decent numbers again with 125 Meadow Pipits and 51 Rock Pipits, whilst wagtails amounted to three flyover Grey Wagtails, ten Pied Wagtails situated mostly around the Narrows along with seven White Wagtails, and 12 'Alba' Wagtails which also passed overhead. One of the highest counts of Skylarks so far this Autumn totalled 12, with most of them favouring in the stubble fields in the North West of the island. A Kestrel continued to hunt through the Lowlands and along the mountainside whilst a Peregrine stooped overhead and a Sparrowhawk stalked Meadow Pipits over Nant. Corvids were again present in good numbers, in particular Ravens of which 18 were recorded today in a flock over the mountain during the morning. Magpies roosting in the older trees of the Plantation numbered 22, 14 Choughs and 22 Carrion Crows were also recorded.

Other birds noted included 33 Mallards on the West Coast, two Grey Herons, a Water Rail, three Little Owls, 18 Swallows, 22 Robins, 17 Stonechats and seven Blackbirds.

Late in the day a bird was discovered up at Nant favouring the willows adjacent to the Plantation and the side of the mountain. It was extremely difficult to pin down with most views of the bird skulking amongst the vegetation there, however this un-streaked Acrocephalus Warbler showed many plumages features of Blyth's Reed Warbler, pale uniform grey-brown upper parts, short primary projection, plain tertials and short supercilium not extending much past the eye. The bird's call Was also good for Blyth's Reed Warbler. However as the light faded viewing became almost impossible and the bird soon disappeared or settled down to roost. Lets hope it decides to stick around until tomorrow!!

Skua passage past the island in the last weeks has been fantastic with individuals being seen on most days of the week, today was again another good day of skua passage. A Pomarine Skua in the morning was a treat as it powered past the north hide at a fairly close range, and by the end of the day 13 Arctic Skuas and three Great Skuas had been counted. The most numerous species off the coast today were Kittiwake and Razorbill, 1,740 and 1,345 logged respectively. Other species although not so numerous were seen in respectable numbers, 65 Manx Shearwaters, 167 Gannets and 46 Common Scoters. Additional birds seen included a small passage of waders, 38 Dunlins and 12 Ringed Plovers. A dapper adult Mediterranean Gull, 87 Black-headed Gulls, three Commic Terns and three Guillemots.

Number of Waders still held a presence, although dropping off slightly. An additional seven Ringed Plovers were around the Narrows, six Purple Sandpipers hid amongst the rocks close by and 42 Oystercatchers, two Snipes, 62 Curlews, four Redshanks and 44 Turnstones were also seen.

A Common Dolphin off the West Coast was a pleasant addition to the day as was the presence of a Migrant Hawker. To add to the that three Hummingbird Hawk Moths buzzed around the Fuchsia's franticly feeding and two Small Coppers, six Red Admirals, a Painted Lady, Small Tortoiseshell and Silver Y were the only Lepidoptera to be recorded.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

The sun shone throughout most of the day today, only being blocked by the occasional cloud. The winds continued to predominantly blow from the south and west, but despite this, the day proved to be one of the best days for seawatching this autumn. It began slowly, with a trickle of Manx Shearwaters and Razorbill seen heading past the West Coast and North End, but improved exponentially throughout the day. By approximately 9 o’clock the first skuas were beginning to be seen and come 10, birds were moving through at a good rate. At log in the evening the numbers were combined and a grand total of two Sooty Shearwaters, 2180 Manx Shearwaters, 574 Gannets, three Common Scoters, eight Golden Plovers, 11 Pomarine Skuas (one adult still complete with a spoon!), 11 Arctic Skuas, six Great Skuas, one Mediterranean Gull, three Little Gulls, 1516 Kittiwakes, six Sandwich Terns, one Arctic Tern and 1371 Razorbills were recorded. The number of Manx Shearwater past were unprecedented when considering how late in the year it is. The previous highest number of Manx Shearwater recorded in a day in the last week of September were a mere 300 in 1991! However, even more impressive was a Little Stint, picked up flying past the North End in the mornings seawatch, which is the first record on the island since 2009.

Speaking of waders, the Narrows continued to hold a good selection of waders, in both Henllwyn and Solfach. Scrutiny of the shoreline produced nine Ringed Plovers, one Knot, three Purple Sandpipers, three Dunlins, one Bar-tailed Godwit, six Redshanks and 61 Turnstones.

The Melodious Warbler continued to inhabit Cristin Withy, giving brief but sometimes good views and was joined by a single Water Rail.

Elsewhere on the island eight Snipes, four Skylarks, 165 Swallows, four House Martins, one Grey Wagtail, four White Wagtails, two Blackcaps, nine Chiffchaffs, two Willow Warblers and 39 Goldcrests were seen either passing overhead or feeding on what the island has to offer.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

A surprisingly late movement of hirundines saw 404 Swallows and 76 House Martins zipping around spells of drizzle before hightailing it past the island. The Wryneck put another very brief appearance on the Mountainside by Carreg Bach whilst two Skylarks, one ‘Scandinavian’ Rock Pipit, two Grey Wagtails, and seven White Wagtails were dotted around. The recently discovered Melodious Warbler in Cristin Withy was still lurking in the Willows with further warblers amounting to two Blackcaps, 17 Chiffchaffs, two Willow Warblers, plus 61 Goldcrests. The autumn’s vanguard of finch passage saw two Siskins and 41 Goldfinches recorded.

Continued wader interest on the Narrows today amounted to 60 Oystercatchers, six Ringed Plovers, one Golden Plover, one Knot, 12 Purple Sandpipers, six Dunlins, one Bar-tailed Godwit, one Whimbrel, 27 Curlews, six Redshanks, and a healthy count of 80 Turnstones.

Gazing at sea was rewarding once again as one Balearic Shearwater, three Manx Shearwaters, 58 Gannets, four Common Scoters, two Arctic Skuas, one Great Skua, two Mediterranean Gulls, 111 Kittiwakes, and 200 Razorbills were logged heading southwards.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Although not staggering numbers, reasonable sea passage in terms of variation of species passed by the island today. Numbers of Common Scoters headed south throughout the morning and amounted to 43 in total. A couple of Arctic Skuas, a Great Skua, Common Tern, Comic Tern and eight Golden Plovers were among the highlights. Small numbers of Gannets totalled 38 whilst two Fulmars, two Manx Shearwaters, a Black-headed Gull, 568 Kittiwakes, 457 Razorbills and a small number of Gulls including seven Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 99 Herring Gulls and ten Greater Black-backed Gulls were also noted.

A highlight inland, and the first of the Autumn, came in the form of a female or immature Black Redstart seen around the Lighthouse Compound on the South End. Goldcrests continued to be present in decent numbers as new birds continue to use the island as a stopover on migrations, Robins were also abundant and numbered 38. Both the long staying Melodious Warbler and the new bird discovered the other day were still in their respective locations, as was a Wryneck which has been favouring the lower slopes of the mountain. A Common Whitethroat was new in and skulked amongst the vegetation as did six Blackcaps, 12 Chiffchaffs and three Willow Warblers. Relatively poor numbers of Skylarks have been recorded on the island so far with apparently no known breeding pairs this year. Passage of this species has also been sporadic so far, however five were reported around various locations today. Hirundines filtered through the island slowly and by the end of the day 179 Swallows and 25 House Martins had been seen. Pipit numbers held fairly consistent counts with 106 Meadow Pipits and 36 Rock Pipits, however new Wagtails passage was nearly non existent as just three Grey Wagtails, three Pied Wagtails and two White Wagtails were logged. Corvids were seen in fairly decent numbers, in particular Carrion Crow numbers which had risen to 66 and Magpies to 26. Choughs amounted to 14 and a pair of Ravens soared overhead.

Not going to win any prizes for best photograph but in terms of identification shows one of the clinching features of Melodious Warbler, the short primary projection. A feature it doesn't share with the similar looking Icterine Warbler which has a large projection about equal to the length of the tertial feathers.

Other birds noted today included a single Golden Plover which flew over Nant in the fog echoing its "pyu' flight call, two Sparrowhawks, two Little Owls, nine Stonechats, five Wheatears, nine Blackbirds, three Chaffinches, two Goldfinches and 148 Linnets.

Solfach and the Narrows, although quieter than previous days were home to a respectable 22 Oystercatchers, one Ringed Plover and Purple Sandpiper, eight Dunlins, one Whimbrel, 24 Curlews, three Redshanks and 39 Turnstones.