Sunday, 4 July 2010

Staff holidays are now underway with both the Warden and Shearwater Assistant taking well-earned breaks. These holidays are well timed with little current avian or invertebrate action.

The final day of June saw a movement of 28 Swift early on with 27 Common Scoter and a Grey Heron passing at sea. Into July and Curlew numbers have increased to 26 and an early Common Sandpiper was around the narrows today. But otherwise there is little change with just the Grasshopper Warbler and Ring-necked Parakeet continuing to show well. However, it is still a rewarding time of year to visit the island with breeding birds all around.

Robins have had a turbulent past as a breeding species on Bardsey, indeed they were absent in 2004. They recolonised the following year and the four pairs present in 2010 is the best they've done since. Productivity is again excellent with all pairs currently having fledged two very inquisitive broods (c) Richard Brown

The seabirds are having an excellent season with record numbers of auks. Productivity seems very encouraging and adult birds with bills full of Sand Eels are everywhere. Indeed, a record 323 Razorbill have been ringed in the past week or so, nearly 50 more than had been ringed in a single season previously. A recent boat trip passing below the northeast Puffin colony noted a record 100+ adults. Well over 1000 Guillemot are currently on ledges with many large young present. Herring Gull also seem to be doing very well with over 100 well grown chicks still present around the coastline.

Wheatear productivity is up on the last few years with three pairs fledging two broods (c) Richard Brown

Family parties of Peregrine and Chough are very vocal at the moment, as are the Ringed Plover around Solfach which now have fledged young. The alarming of Oystercatchers around the coast is a constant reminder that, despite the good year for gulls, they are also experiencing good productivity this year. Whitethroat, Chiffchaff and Sedge Warbler are all busy feeding fledged young, as are the Swallows which are also settling down to second broods.

 Meadow Browns are currently the most abundant butterfly on Bardsey (c) Richard Brown

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