Tuesday, 14 April 2009

14 April

Almost as unremarkable as the preceding day, a fleeting sighting of a Ring Ouzel was the ornithological climax to a rather boring but nonetheless pleasant and sunny day. The (or another) Common Grasshopper Warbler was singing in the morning, seven Blackcaps and three Whimbrels were seen and four Purple Sandpipers flew south at sea. A very large number of Manx Shearwaters in the colonies after dark provided a good opportunity for a late-night ringing session. Good numbers (up to 16) of Shelducks are being recorded daily at the moment.

Common Shelduck in Solfach 14 April 2009
© Steven Stansfield

13 April

A day of pleasant weather produced no notable arrivals. A Common Grasshopper Warbler was again singing in the garden at Cristin but numbers of Phylloscopus warblers were much lower than the previous day and finch numbers remained much the same. 5 White Wagtails were on the Narrows, a Merlin was still hunting pipits around the north of the island and a Black-headed Gull flew past at sea.

White Wagtail near Solfach 13 April 2009 
© Steven Stansfield
12 April

A House Sparrow trapped at Cristin in the morning was the most remarkable and unexpected sighting of the day, although a good selection of other migrants was present. A Ring Ouzel managed to avoid the observatory mist nets, a pair of Greylag Geese flew over and a typically skulking Garden Warbler was seen briefly in Ty Pellaf Withy. Other warblers seen included a Common Grasshopper Warbler, 73 Willow Warblers, 32 Common Chiffchaffs, nine Goldcrests and two Blackcaps while finches were represented by 14 Lesser Redpolls, six Eurasian Siskins and 11 European Goldfinches. Single Rook, Eurasian Jackdaw and Eurasian Collared Dove were also seen along with two the first Mallard ducklings of the year.

House Sparrow trapped at Cristin, 12 April 2009 
© Steven Stansfield
11 April

A Great Tit in the garden at Cristin and a pair of Greater Canada Geese flying over the island in the morning were mild surprises in an otherwise fairly quiet day. The gardens and bushes contained a Common Grasshopper Warbler, 40 Willow Warblers, 14 Common Chiffchaffs, two Blackcaps, a Eurasian Collared Dove and a lingering Blue Tit.

10 April

Willow Warblers were again much in evidence as the weather calmed and brightened; 200 of them were counted with 34 Common Chiffchaffs and just three Blackcaps. Other migrants included two Lesser Redpolls, five Eurasian Siskins, 15 European Goldfinches, four White Wagtails, a Rook and a Common Kestrel. A Merlin and the two Blue Tits remained from earlier in the week and 27 Purple Sandpipers were counted at high tide.

Willow Warbler near the Lighthouse 10 April 2009

© Steven Stansfield
9 April

Despite continuing inclement weather a good number of birds had arrived on the island by morning. Most numerous were Willow Warblers with 150 counted, but alongside them were 28 Blackcaps, 15 Common Chiffchaffs, a Redwing, a Eurasian Collared Dove and six Northern Wheatears. A House Martin, 2 Sand Martins and 14 Barn Swallows were seen during the day. The two Blue Tits remained, as did a Song Thrush and a Merlin.

8 April

The continuing wind was joined by rain for a wet day with little in the way of new migrants. A Common Sandpiper – the first of the year – in Henllwyn was the most interesting sighting although a small number of passerines had also arrived including a Reed Bunting, four White Wagtails, two Blackcaps, six Northern Wheatears, 15 European Goldfinches and 30 Barn Swallows.

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