Monday, 28 April 2014

It was a stunning day on the island, with low north east winds accompanied by clear skies and high temperatures. Avian news today comprised mostly of common passerine migrants, although the year's first Black Guillemot- a very smart summer-plumaged bird- found in Nant Valley in the early hours was certainly the highlight of the day.

Wheatear numbers rose to their highest so far this year, with an excellent figure of 131 logged from the North End to the South Tip in the early afternoon. Overhead passage of martins and swallows also featured strongly today, with totals by the day's end standing at 17 Sand Martins, 90 Swallows and 16 House Martins. In the island's more vegetated areas, a sustained movement of warblers throughout the day amounted to: two Grasshopper Warbler, 19 Sedge Warblers, eight Whitethroats, 13 Blackcaps, 15 Chiffchaffs and 56 Willow Warblers.

A back-of-the-camera image of the Black Guillemot (Tystie) off the North End this morning. (c) Mark Carter
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Wheatears featured in their highest numbers so far this year, with a total of 131 birds recorded around the coast (c) Steve Stansfield
Phylloscopus warblers made a bit of a come back in numbers today, with a total of 56 Willow Warblers least 15 of these were trapped and ringed during the course of the day 
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Several of the migrant Whitethroats have settled down along the mountainside in the last week- two males have been singing on territory around Nant, and one has already attracting a mate. Top (c) Steve Stansfield, Bottom (c) Ben Porter
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Linnet (c) Steve Stansfield
In the calm and sunny conditions, the first few day-flying micro moths of the year were recorded on a patch of flowering gorse on Pen Cristin: this smart Esperia sulphurella, and six Cyda ulicetana were seen, the later of which should emerge in its hundreds in the next few weeks

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