Monday, 4 May 2009


6 May

A Common Cuckoo seen briefly in the afternoon was easily the best bird of a quiet and windy day. 90 Barn Swallows, 14 Sand Martins, four House Martins, a Common Swift and 32 European Goldfinches were counted heading south in the morning and a variety of waders was present – to wit one Ringed Plover, ten Dunlins, 11 Ruddy Turnstones, 12 Purple Sandpipers, a Common Sandpiper and ten Whimbrels. The island’s bushes however, were almost completely devoid of migrant landbirds.


5 May

Black Guillemot flying past the north hide was the most unusual bird of the day, although one or two other interesting sightings were made. 11 Dunlins were on the beach with 18 Whimbrels, a Common Sandpiper and five White Wagtails, while steady hirundine passage comprised 210 Barn Swallows, six Sand Martins and a House Martin. A Common Swift flying over the mountain, 18 European Goldfinches and nine Eurasian Siskins were seen during the day. Four Blackcaps and a single Common Grasshopper Warbler were the only warblers worth mentioning. A species of slug, Deroceras reticulatum, found at Cristin appears to have never been recorded on the island before.


4 May

A transient appearance by ten Common Swifts early in the morning turned out to be the highlight of a miserable and windy day. Three Eurasian Collared Doves at Ty Pellaf were clearly newly-arrived migrants. What few small passerines were present busied themselves by sheltering from the elements, making observation difficult. 16 Eurasian Siskins, five Lesser Redpolls, a Common Whitethroat, two Sedge Warblers, a Blackcap and six White Wagtails were as exciting as it got. 

Bluebells at Ty Pellaf May 2009 © Steven Stansfield

3 May

Despite a continuation of the pleasant weather resulting in another quiet day, a variety of migrants were nevertheless on show; albeit only in small numbers. 100 Barn Swallows, four apiece of House and Sand Martins, 22 Northern Wheatears, six White Wagtails, five Sedge Warblers, three Blackcaps, a Common Grasshopper Warbler, a Common Whitethroat, two European Greenfinches, a Dunlin, 18 Whimbrels and a Black-headed Gull were counted. The discovery of hitherto unknown colonies of Platyarthrus hoffmanseggi, the blind ant woodlouse, at Cristin and Ty Capel provided some invertebrate diversion. 

Common Buzzard

3 May 2009 © Steven Stansfield

Stonechat young at Ty pellaf 

3 May 2009 © Steven Stansfield

Platyarthrus hoffmanseggi - Blind Ant Woodlouce © Richard Else

2 May

A day of very pleasant weather generated a good movement of Barn Swallows, with 320 passing through during the day accompanied by nine Sand Martins and four House Martins. Other landbirds remained in fairly short supply: 18 Willow Warblers, eight Common Chiffchaffs, a Goldcrest, six Sedge Warblers, five Blackcaps, four Common Grasshopper Warblers, six White Wagtails, six Lesser Redpolls and 16 Northern Wheatears were the best the morning census could muster. 13 Whimbrels and a Dunlin were the only waders of note. The best bird of the day however came later in the afternoon: the first Spotted Flycatcher of the year was found in the unlikely location of the beach; feeding with the local pipits and wagtails. In invertebrate news, a Chestnut Slug, apparently not recorded on the island since the 1960s, was found near the lighthouse.

1 May

The small passage migrants of yesterday moved on at the first opportunity leaving little of note on the island in the morning. Warbler counts were reduced to just 14 Willow Warblers, three Sedge Warblers, two Blackcaps, two Common Chiffchaffs and a Common Grasshopper Warbler. Whimbrels increased again to 21, and a few other oddments were seen including a Common Scoter, a Common Sandpiper, a Common Kestrel and two Black-headed Gulls.

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