Sunday, 27 April 2014

Although persisting in its strength, the wind swung around to the north-east overnight, which brought about a fresh arrival of migrants on the island. This small arrival was particularly noticeable in the late afternoon, with virtually nothing of note recorded on the morning censuses of the island.

There were two new additions to Bardsey’s year list today: an obliging Reed Warbler was discovered in the gorse on the South End, which is three days later than the arrival date for this species last year; and a stunning male Whinchat was seen briefly in Traeth Ffynnon- a total of 18 days earlier than last year’s first spring bird. In other news, a scattering of warblers in the island’s coastal gorse, gardens and withies comprised one Grasshopper Warbler, three Sedge Warblers, four Whitethroats, 11 Blackcaps, 11 Chiffchaffs and 13 Willow Warblers. Wheatear numbers remain well into the double figures, with some 37 scattered around, and a good count of a 52 Swallows, 24 Sand Martins, three House Martins and 17 White Wagtails was made around the coast.

Non-passerine news was largely restricted to waders, although even these were a bit thin on the ground today: three Ringed Plovers, one Purple Sandpiper, two Dunlins, 16 Whimbrels, two Turnstones, a Common Sandpiper and four Curlews were logged around The Narrows at high tide, and there was no sign of yesterday’s smart Grey Plover.

 This rather obliging Reed Warbler was found in the gorse on the South End in the afternoon, where two Chiffchaffs, two Blackcaps and a Willow Warbler were also recorded. This is three days later than the first Reed Warbler in 2013, which was seen in Cristin garden on 24th April
A very poor record shot of the stunning male Whinchat, which arrived on the island in the afternoon, before moving swiftly northward towards the withies. Last year, the first Whinchat of the year was discovered on  15 May.

A brief lamping session late in the night yesterday rewarded with one Whimbrel and a Greenland-race Wheatear:
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The year's second Whimbrel was trapped on Solfach in the night, and was fitted with its unique colour-combination
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This hefty leucorhoa Wheatear was also trapped in the night 
There was a triple figure count of large gulls in Solfach at high tide again this morning; Herring Gulls (above) made up the bulk of the flock, and were joined by Lesser Black-backed Gulls, Black-headed Gulls and a Common Gull

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