Monday, 17 February 2014

It was back to gale-force easterly winds and lashing rain on the 14th, with many birds hiding away behind banks and in any remaining vegetation. Kittiwakes and a Common Gull spent the day feeding off The Narrows, whilst a Redwing was flushed from the wetlands. The 15th was another chilly day, with a huge swell rolling in after the night's strong gales. However, the wind failed to bring in anything new to the usual selection of avian wildlife: 75 Kittiwakes fed off the South End, two Ringed Plovers and a Purple Sandpiper sheltered behind the banks on The Narrows, and a Song Thrush was seen in the wetlands. A beautiful sunny day and calm day on the 16th saw a wealth of passerines singing all over the island: the first Meadow Pipits started their parachute display flights, Blue Tits could be heard singing in the gardens, and the usual Robins, Wrens and Dunnocks all added to the chorus. Elsewhere, a Red-throated Diver flew past out to sea, two Snipe were flushed from the wetlands, three Linnets flew over Ty Pellaf, and a Hooded Crow remained on The Narrrows. The highlight of the 17th came in the form of two Brent Geese, which spent the morning feeding on the The Narrows. Surprisingly, the two birds were not actually of the same race; one was a Pale-bellied bird, whilst the other a Dark-bellied! Two Ringed Plovers were seen on The Narrows again, five Snipe were recorded inland, and the female Sparrowhawk was seen chasing the Hooded Crow around.

Apologies for the rather morbid images: at least ten seabirds have washed up dead over the last week, including six Shags, and singles of Puffin (top), Razorbill (lower), Guillemot and Fulmar. Quite why the birds died in this stormy weather is not clear, but hopefully no more will do so.
The intricate pattern of a Shag's webbed feet
And finally, something alive: Blue Tits bring a splash of colour to any dismal winter's day

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