Thursday, 29 October 2009

A mild and quite pleasant morning saw some big numbers of birds moving through the island. A flock of 3500 Starlings whirled around above the South End before heading north out to sea, and the same flock – or another of similar size – appeared near Nant later on. Parties of advancing Chaffinches surged southwards relentlessly throughout the morning and by mid day 1593 birds had been counted. Smaller numbers of other finches were also on the move, with 123 Greenfinches, 41 Siskins, 15 Bramblings and ten Goldfinches logged. A Richard’s Pipit flew off the South End heading strongly east, and later in the day another, probably a different one, was found in the arable fields. A juvenile Sandwich Tern circled Henllwyn – the latest ever record of this species on Bardsey – and a pair of Shelducks (the first for a long time) were also around the Narrows. Six Lapwings were on the South End and a Red-throated Diver, two Grey Herons, a Manx Shearwater, a Mediterranean Gull and a Little Gull flew by at sea. A small lighthouse attraction during the night had brought more thrushes to the island: in total 58 Blackbirds, 30 Redwings, 20 Song Thrushes, two Fieldfares and a Mistle Thrush were counted. A Woodcock was in the withies, five Black Redstarts were around the buildings and eight Blackcaps were found around the gardens. Seven Reed Buntings and the two lingering Great Spotted Woodpeckers were seen, as well as three Great Tits and two Blue Tits, while three Merlins, two Sparrowhawks, a Buzzard, a Kestrel and the resident Peregrines provided a good display of raptors.

At least seven Risso’s Dolphins spent a while very close to the shore, giving good opportunities to watch and photograph them.

Risso's Dolphins (c) Steven Stansfield

Redwing above (c) Richard Brown, below (c) Steven Stansfield

Fieldfares (c) Steven Stansfield

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