Monday, 14 May 2012

The morning started windy and rather grey, although by mid-morning the conditions had improved, and some good birds were found. The first Crossbill of the year spent the day in the Plantation, along with two Turtle Doves and two Reed Warblers that were caught in the New Plantation. Early afternoon saw the predicted arrival of the year's first Subalpine Warbler, in the form of a female above Ty Pellaf. The bird spent the rest of the day feeding in large circuits on the mountainside and trackside. Small numbers of Whitethroats, Blackcaps and Spotted Flcatchers saw 15, 20 and 13 respectively; whilst a Garden Warbler was seen at Cristin and a Kestrel flew over the North end.

Bardsey continues to prove an excellent site for Subalpine Warblers in Wales (and to a lesser extent the UK). There have now been 28 records of this species on the island, of which no fewer than nine have been since 2007. The nominate race, S.c.cantillans, has been recorded only twice since 2007, whereas the rarer Eastern race, S.c.albistria (still considered by BBRC), has occurred four times.
 Turtle Dove numbers in the UK have decreased by over 90% since the 1970s. This species used to be widespread across much of England and Wales, but has now vanished from many areas, its main strongholds now being in areas of Southern England and East Anglia. The cause of this dramatic decline is not entirely understood, one of the supposed reasons is the change in farming practices and the intensification of agriculture. Crops with wild plants that produce the bird's main diet of seeds have become even scarcer in the countryside due to this change. Another factor that is perhaps contributing to the decline is the illegal hunting of this species across the Mediterranean during spring and autumn migrations
Common Crossbill. The bird's median and greater coverts were tipped white, creating two thin wing-bars. This variant does occur, although the bars are much narrower than Two-barred Crossbill, and the tertial tips are evenly fringed white

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