Saturday, 28 December 2013

A Mega Year - January to June round up

Well its that time of year for a photographic round up of 2013, the highlights and fondest memories from the year's blog.

Enjoy and lets look forward to 2014.....

An overwintering Firecrest is always a good way to start the year
A cold spell in mid-January brings wintery scenes, with thrushes...
and Lapwings all over the island
Strong winds later in the month push some seabirds close inshore
and waders up to rocks
Up to three Whimbrels spent the winter on the island.
with Rock Pipits in good numbers on the beaches
Buzards take their toll on the local Moorhens as these become the staple food!
Whilst two Grey Plovers graced Solfach

A few Goldgrests are brave enough to stay on the island over winter
Keeping this little guy company
Mid-month some seabirds are returning to the cliffs - Shags
and Fulmars have been away since August
Most Pied Wagtails leave the island, but this pair over-wintered
A drake Teal spent some time on the island
Dodging the Peregrine most of the time
But you only get one strike in this game, then you are out.....
Late February sees and arrival of Jack Snipe

The year's only Stock Dove is a good start to March
with an escape, close-ringed Bullfinch spending time at Nant
Singing Stonechats herald the start of spring
with the first Chiffchaffs arriving to wintry rains
A couple of Black Redstarts including this stunner arrived
And when Obs staff arrived, the ringing season began, with three Jack Snipe being the first birds to be trapped, and the firsst since 2011
The first Wheatear of the year arrived on the 6th
and Ben's Firecrest picture wins BirdGuides Photo of the Week .. well done Ben
A Hooded Crow puts in an appearnace in Mid-March and stays on the island for most of the year
and Ravens now have young
More Jack Snipe arrive and are trapped
as Sandwich Terns screech round the bays
More common migrants like Chiffchaffs are arriving
and Meadow Pipits begin to move in good numbers
the first White Wagtails dont get to the island until the final day of March

Early April sees the arrival of the first Blackcaps
and Greenland Wheatears
A Woodcock is found walking in the obs Trap
whilst a Red Kite manages to be seen by everyone except the Warden!
Good numbers of finches start to arrive mid-month
The first Willow Warblers start to arrive
and a Kestrel takes up residence at the farm

And finally, SOME MOTHS!!! After what has seemed like months of cold, windy weather, two days of milder temperatures encouraged a few species to take to the wing. Last night's catch in the Nant Heath Trap amounted to: one Common Quaker, three Hebrew Characters, one Clouded Drab, a Mottled Grey, a Double-striped Pug. Hebrew Character (top), Common Quaker (middle) and Clouded Drab (lower) Early Thorn. (Bottom)
Finches continue to arrive and in good numbers
and Jack Snipe continue to pass through
A rather fine Hawfinch was found on the 12th
and this smart Ring Ouzel the next day
Choughs start nest building
As migrant warble numbers build...
...gale-force southerly winds obviously prevented much feeding from taking place, with very few insects on offer. Several Blackcaps in the Lighthouse compound were seen huddled together for warmth, presumably exhausted after their journey.
The first Redstarts appear
along with some stunning Greenland Wheatears
and a Yellow Wagtail adds a splash of colour
Common Sandpipers begin to move
and Grasshopper Warblers begin their reeling songs
Finch passage is building with more Redpolls
View image on Twitter
and Siskins.
View image on Twitter
The first Cuckoo is seen
as 150 each of Blackcap and Willow Warbler are trapped with 226 Blackaps and over 440 Willow Warblers present in total.
and this smart male Corncrake that is found on the south end
with a support cast including this Tree Pipit
Wader numbers build with up to 30 Dunlin on Solfach
and the first of three Parisian-ringed Sedge Warblers is trapped
View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter
Willow Warblers continue to move in good numbers
as do Siskins and Redpolls
Coal Tits are uncommon is Spring, so this was a bonus
View image on Twitter
Whimbrel Numbers began to increase
and some were trapped and colour-ringed
View image on Twitter
A smart Blue-headed Wagtail brightened up the day
whilst a 'channel' wagtail created some passing interest
An Arctic Skua took up residence on the South End...home-from-home!
A Large dark Redpoll was possibly from a north-western population
View image on Twitter
The first Lesser Whitethroats appear
View image on Twitter
with some smart looking Sanderlings on the beach
and at long last a scarce bird...but just another Subalpine Warbler!
Sedge Warblers start to move in number
with Spotted Flycatchers adding to the migrant mix
Several drake Eiders stop off in Solfach for a week!
and Tree Pipits continue to move in small numbers
A Blackcap with an ITALIAN Ring was trapped
this only the SECOND EVER Italian-ringed Blackcap to have been trapped in the UK!
Take a look at the Blackcap ringing fact sheet by the BTO here
View image on Twitter
and a rather nice Whinchat is spoiled by the barbed wire!
Mid-May saw Sedge Warblers arrive 'en-masse' with 150 trapped on 17th alone
View image on Twitter
along with a Blue-headed Wagtail
another (barbless) Whinchat
a Honey Buzzard
and a Hen Harrier
Over the next week migrants continued with this nice 'hepatic' Cuckoo
and good numbers of Spotted Flycatchers

A common Rosefinch on the last day of May was the start of a good run of birds

Three Black-tailed Godwits from Iceland

and four distant Killer Whales started off the month
View image on Twitter
another Grey Plover, this time looking smart

and a Turtle Dove

Wales's fourth and Bardsey's third Paddyfield Warbler

and Thrift Clearwings begin to bring spring to an end
View image on Twitter

Shelducks had ups and downs, but some young survived

Peregrines did well

and Puffin numbers are ever increasing

with shearwaters doing well too

Baby mini Manxy!! ADOPT ME...Click here
View image on Twitter
good numbers of Razors


and wags

and lots of Choughs

and ending as we began, with a mid-summer Firecrest showing anything can happen at any time of year!

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