Friday, 17 May 2013

A fantastic bird-filled day saw hundreds of common migrants once again passing through the island, as well as a few scarcities thrown into the mix.
By far the highlight of the day was a Honey Buzzard which was seen very briefly above the mountain in the afternoon. This species is surprisingly rare on Bardsey, and the last record was over eight years ago.
The second Hen Harrier of the year also glided over the mountain midday, along with a single Buzzard. A Blue-headed Wagtail was seen briefly on the West Side in the afternoon, where it was joined by a female flavissima moments later.

A nice selection of other notable species included a Common Redstart, two Black Redstarts, three Whinchats, a Cuckoo, four Reed Warblers and a Lesser Whitethroat.

The numbers of common migrants was an incredible sight, and was certainly experienced at Cristin during the morning’s mist netting. In total, 236 birds were ringed during the day, an incredible 150 of which were Sedge Warblers!
A grand total of 309 Sedge Warblers were seen during the day, whilst final figures for other common warblers amounted to 191 Common Whitethroats, six Garden Warblers, 88 Blackcaps, 47 Willow Warblers and 39 Chiffchaffs. A superb 55 Spotted Flycatchers were recorded all over the island, including along the rocky coastline, and a single Pied Flycatcher was amongst the birds at the obs in the afternoon.

Hirundine movement was sustained all day long, with eight Sand Martins, 421 Swallows and 156 House Martin srecorded, along with 14 Swifts. Finch movement was also in evidence, with nine Siskins, 22 Goldfinches and 71 Lesser Redpolls recorded. 

What a day!!!

 The second Blue-headed Wagtail of the year was seen on the west side
 Over 200 Sedge Warblers were seen during the day, and over 150 of these were ringed!
Spotted Flycatchers featured well, with 55 recorded
Male Whinchat
 Common Whitethroats were also seen almost everywhere, with over 190 seen


House Martin
 Poor shot of the Hen Harrier
Hooded Crow
 Honey Buzzard

Spotted Flycatcher 

And some pictures of today's ringing activities:

View image on Twitter

An incredible 150 Sedge Warblers were ringed during the day, which is over half of the expected annual ringing total for this species (c) Steve Stansfield
View image on Twitter
In the early morning, just under 120 birds were caught in two net rounds! (c) Steve Stansfield
View image on Twitter
Reed Warbler (c) Steve Stansfield
View image on Twitter
An educational image showing the contrast between a female first summer Blackcap (right) and an adult female (left) (c) Steve Stansfield


  1. Stunning images Ben (especially those spotted flycathcers), I'm just trying to get my head around those numbers of Sedge Warblers, incredible.

  2. Thanks Doug- the number of Sedge Warblers is pretty ridiculous!