Saturday, 22 March 2014

March 22nd 

Another day of brisk southerly winds meant migrants were thin on the ground, although a passage of seabirds amounted to four Red-throated Divers, 16 Fulmars, two Manx Shearwaters, 18 Gannets and five Cormorants. The first Lapwing of the year was seen on the North End, whilst a Merlin resided on the South Tip, keeping a watchful eye for any unsuspecting passerines. Four Chiffchaffs and three Goldcrests were the only noteworthy migrants.

 Although the number of migrant Meadow Pipits has taken a drastic fall in recent days, slightly higher numbers have been noted in the last few days
 A small flock of Linnets continue to feed in the fields near Ty Pellaf, periodically visiting a nearby water way for some bathing
The Grey Seal hall out during the recent high tides has amounted to about 90 individuals. Unfortunately, the seal pup from a few days ago (not the one pictured) died on the 22nd, after there being no sign of its mother

March 22nd

A day of slightly lighter winds still maintained the very chilly temperatures, and meant that the avian life on the island was very much similar in composition to yesterday. A single Chiffchaff sheltered in amongst the willows in Plas Withy; four Goldcrests were scattered through the island's gardens; a Reed Bunting was seen on the North End; a Scandinavian Rock Pipit was seen amongst the usual breeding flock on The Narrows; and a much higher total of 115 Meadow Pipits saw a flock of 36 on the South End alone. In other news, two Red-throated Divers flew past the South Tip, and a Snipe was flushed from the wetlands.

 With lambing in full swing on the island, there is plenty of food around for most of the island's carrion scavengers, including Great Black-backed Gulls. The Ravens no doubt benefit the greatest amount, since they have timed the raising of their chicks for the period when the most food is on offer
Speaking of prey and carrion, the female Sparrowhawk continues to diminish the island's population of breeding birds! A freshly killed Moorhen was discovered in Cristin Withy, as the Sparrowhawk flew away from the carcass. Later in the morning, the same Sparrowhawk was disturbed from a Magpie corpse- either the second or third that it has managed to kill this year.

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