Sunday, 3 June 2012

As I was just heading back from the obs this morning, having had coffee with our guests, I saw movement in the Heligoland trap. Thinking that I should make sure it was not a Subalp (with there being two on Lundy in the week!), I made my way through the soaking wet grass in the pouring rain. On approaching, I heard baby blue tits calling. I assumed that the parents were outside the trap (they know what it is all about and don't go in there), and the youngsters were inside. When I got to the catching box end of the trap I was correct, there were two baby Blue Tits... and a flash of Black, white and chestnut! and this little beauty. 

Male Woodchat Shrike

For the second time in the day, Steve ventured out into the garden and wandered towards the Schoolhouse late in the afternoon. Here, without his bins, he saw a large warbler that he thought was a Melodious Warbler having only seen it very briefly as he had just popped out to the loo! When other observers arrived, the bird was re-found near the back of the heligoland trap and showed briefly, although well enough for all to see that it was indeed the first Melodious Warbler of the year! It then found its way into the trap and was caught and ringed.

Melodious Warbler is another one of those species which Bardsey seems to be particularly good for, with 14 birds since 2007. Indeed, up until the end of 2006, there had been 186 accepted records of Melodious Warblers in Wales, with almost 100 of these coming from Bardsey!

In other news, a Great Northern Diver flew past the North end of the island in the morning, along with a 'Commic Tern'. A good gathering of waders on Solfach at high tide saw 18 Ringed Plovers, 30 Dunlins, two Sanderlings and a Turnstone. Passerine-wise, three Willow Warblers, five Chiffchaffs and around 10 Spotted Flycatchers were in the gardens, withies and on the coast.

Here is a shot of a poor little Sand Martin that was sheltering on the beach in Henllwyn, just illustrating how awful the weather was!

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