Friday, 9 April 2010

Another calm and clear day brought a good selection of migrants to the island and a good species list was achieved by the end of the day. A slow start to the morning was enlivened by two Great Northern Divers flying north past the South End before the passerines began to trickle through. The first notable migrant amongst the small birds was a bright male Common Redstart singing near the school house – the first of the year. A short time later a Tree Pipit –another addition to the year-list – flew north along the mountainside and a ringtail Harrier was seen briefly over Pen Cristin. The latter was soon relocated at the north end of the island and identified as a Hen Harrier. An unringed Firecrest turning up in a mist net at Nant was a surprise find for ringers working at the north end of the island.

Counts of migrants included 40 Willow Warblers, 30 Chiffchaffs, nine Goldcrests, seven Wheatears, ten White Wagtails, 16 Sand Martins and 13 Swallows. A Golden Plover, a Reed Bunting, five Lesser Redpolls, a Redwing, a Jackdaw and a Rook were also noteworthy.

The first Green-veined White butterflies of the year were seen during the day, and in the evening a number of Harbour Porpoises were seen breaking the flat, mirror-like surface of the sea.

The island’s Little Owls are quite active at this time of year, and an attempt to catch and ring them was made after dark. Success was achieved surprisingly quickly and an adult owl was soon trapped in a mist net and ringed, giving several visitors the chance to see it up close.

Little Owl (c) Richard Else

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