Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Despite light rain and very calm north-easterly winds, most new arrivals today were centred seaward. A Red-breasted Merganser (the third of the year) flew East past the South End in the early hours, and was followed shortly by an Iceland Gull (only the tenth Barsdey record), which promptly alighted on the rocks near the South Hide; in the late afternoon, a Pomarine Skua followed similar suite, carrying out its typical harassment of the breeding Kittiwakes. (Did you know? the name 'Pomarine' originates from the Greek description of the thin plates that overlay the base of the bill in all skuas. In Greek: pomato= lid and rhinos= nose). In the late evening, an Osprey was seen being mobbed by gulls over the North End, which is the first record of this species on Bardsey for over two years.

In terms of passerines, there was no sign of the Citrine Wagtail, although a female Yellow Wagtail was seen on The Narrows mid-morning. A Grasshopper Warbler on the South End was clearly a new arrival, and a light scattering of other migrants included some 30 Swallows, three Chiffhcaffs and four Spotted Flycatchers.

We have had six species of wagtails (if you include subspecies) in the last two days, comprising Citrine Wagtail, Blue-headed Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail and Pied Wagtail! here is a selection of images from the two beauties that spent the afternoon feeding on Pwll Cain yesterday. Both the birds were finding plenty of food, feeding primarily on the just-emerging Blue-tailed Damselflies and Mayfly nymphs
The typical hunting pose of the Blue-headed Wagtail- target acquired! Also note the unusual deformity on the right side of the upper mandible. There appears to be a large hole where there should be just a small nostril

The somewhat less vividly-coloured female Citrine Wagtail. Citrine Wagtails breed from eastern Europe through to China, with the European population estimated at about 300, 000 breeding pairs. There have been roughly 280 accepted records in the UK up to 2012, and Bardsey has now laid claim to two

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