Tuesday, 7 January 2014

January 4th
It felt distinctly calmer after yesterday's storm surge, although there was still a very high tide in the morning, which continued to cause erosion around The Narrows. On the bird front, the first Red-throated Diver of the year flew North past The Narrows mid-morning, along with an adult Gannet and the usual scattering of Kittiwakes. A small feeding flock of three Goldcrests, two Blue Tits and two Great Tits were noted in Nant Withy, having been hiding away for the last week during the stormy weather.

A few juvenile Kittiwakes were seen feeding in Henllwyn at low tide
The Hooded Crow continues to linger around Solfach and The Narrows, although is still quite timid
The huge seas and tides have meant that Solfach is virtually bare of any seaweed. Some of the Choughs have instead been scavenging amongst the rocks and seaweed which has been thrown up onto The Narrows by the waves

January 5th
A very strong south-east wind picked up ahead of Monday's severe storm, although this did encourage a few slightly more noteworthy bird onto the island...the highlight of the day came in the form of a fantastic adult Glaucous Gull, which was seen amongst a flock of 53 Herring Gulls on The Narrows mid-morning. This is the first Glaucous Gull since December 2012, and the first adult for over seven years. Elsewhere on the bird front, a sewatching session from the North End produced a small number of seabirds: the first two Great Northern Divers of the years flew West, whilst three Red-throated Divers, six Fulmars, a Common Scoter,  31 Oystercatchers, three Black-headed Gulls, 174 Kittiwakes, 12 Guillemots and a Razorbill.

The rather smart adult Glaucous Gull. This is only the 23rd record for Bardsey, with no records at all last year. This is also the first adult Glaucous Gull on Bardsey since February 2006- a bird which, although taken into care, died a few days after its finding.
The Glaucous Gull alongside a Herring Gull

January 6th
Once again, a huge low pressure system rolled in from the Atlantic, producing winds of 45 mph throughout the day, which in turn amounted in huge seas. The Narrows received yet another heavy battering, and the poor waders were again forced to shelter behind earth banks during the heavy squalls. A lovely adult Little Gull joined a small feeding flock of 45 Herring Gulls and 24 Kittiwakes in Henllwyn at high tide; a Shelduck continued to fly around with the local Oystercatchers, whilst 19 Purple Sandpipers and 26 Turnstones were feeding amongst the debris that has been hurled onto the top of The Narrows. A single Song Thrush in Cristin garden was amongst about four species of passerine which were seen inland!

Many Purple Sandpipers were forced onto the grassy top of The Narrows at high tide, sheltering behind banks during the very heavy squalls
The same Purple Sandpipers after the shower had passed and the sun came out!
Kittiwakes over the high seas
The adult Little Gull

January 7th
Another atmospheric day with high seas and strong winds saw the usual gathering of 60 Herring Gulls, 10 Great Black-backed Gulls and 50 Kittiwakes around The Narrows, although there was nothing different amongst them today! A Water Rail was heard in Ty Pellaf Reed Bed, and a Sparrowhawk hunted prey along the mountainside.

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