Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Clear skies and calm winds heralded another brilliant and enjoyable day’s birding, with streams of hirundines and finches passing overhead, whilst warblers and wheatears occupied the land. A Twite discovered feeding with the Linnet flock in the north-west fields was by far the scarcest bird seen in island-terms during the day. Meanwhile, on the south end: a Red throated Diver was off coast, a Greenshank was heard by the south tip and a Reed Bunting and a Tree Pipit were in the gorse. Waders were again present in solfach at high tide in reasonable numbers: two Common Sandpipers, seven Ring Plovers, ten Dunlins, seven Turnstones and ten Whimbrels were seen. Hirundine passage included 96 Swallows, eighty Sand Martins and two House Martins, whilst 389 Meadow Pipits also moved over in flocks.  The second Whinchat of the year was in the wetlands, whilst an amazing 204 Wheatears were all over the island. Despite good numbers of common warblers, the only different sighting amongst them was three Lesser Whitethroats in the withies; twelve Grasshopper Warblers, fifteen Sedge Warblers and six Whitethroats were also seen. A Song Thrush at nant and a Redwing trapped in the withies had arrived, and two Ring Ouzels were on the mountainside above Cristin. Three Lapland Buntings were in the north-west fields, a Kestrel flew over the north end and a ringtail Hen Harrier was seen by the plantation. A North-western Common Redpoll (C.f.rostrata) was trapped and ringed at Cristin in the morning. This giant of a redpoll will be the first for the island and second for Wales if accepted by the Welsh records panel.

 Twite and Linnet (c) Steve Stansfield
Lapland Buntings  (c) Steve Stansfield
 Whitethroat. (c) Ben Porter
 Meadow Pipit with nesting material. (c) Ben Porter
The sound of the Wheatear's hard chakking was all over the island today; this one coughed up a pellet. (c) Ben Porter

North-western Common Redpoll (C.f.rostrata) and Blackcap

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