Tuesday, 29 April 2014

It was another glorious day on the island, with clear skies and hardly a breath of wind encouraging temperatures to reach their highest so far this year. Despite the calm and settled conditions, a subtle movement of common migrants through the island was all that materialised. A handful of slightly more noteworthy species included a Black Redstart above Nant Withy (only the fourth of the year), a Whinchat at the upper end of the Green Lane, a smart Golden Plover on the South End, and the first four Sanderlings of the year in Solfach. There was a good movement of finches in the early hours, with many birds dropping into the mist nets open around Cristin; totals for the morning comprised one Greenfinch, 14 Goldfinches and 27 Lesser Redpolls. There was a large clear-out of warblers overnight, although a Lesser Whitethroat trapped and ringed in the withies was new in. Hirundine passage during the day amounted to 14 Sand Martins, 120 Swallows and eight House Martins, whilst 59 Wheatears were scattered along the coastline.

Some more lepidoptera-focussed images!

Lackey caterpillar update
After the first one or two were discovered in Cristin garden a week ago, many Lackey moth caterpillar 'tents' are beginning to appear in the damson and blackthorn bushes around the island... 
The caterpillars in this particular 'tent' in Cristin garden have been slowly growing in size, which is the cause of the shedding of their skins. They will shed their skins several times (typically four or five times) before reaching full size, and then pupating. In the above image, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd instar caterpillars (left to right) can be seen 

A good number of moths were attracted to the traps last night, and included some rather nice specimens:
This Pebble Prominent, although common throughout the UK, has been recorded just once before on Bardsey: in May 2012
It is proving to be a good year for The Herald, with four records already this year 
Common Carpet

Embedded image permalink
13 Manx Shearwaters were trapped and ringed overnight
Embedded image permalink
This interesting xanthochromatic Redpoll was trapped and ringed in Cristin garden!