Tuesday, 6 May 2014

It started off as a very pleasant day, with clear skies and low winds encouraging a good amount of visible migration to take place in the early hours. This comprised one Swift, seven Sand Martins, 287 Swallows, 13 House Martins, one Tree Pipit, three Rooks, the Hooded Crow, two Siskins, six Goldfinches and 15 Lesser Redpolls. A total of three Reed Warblers were distributed from Cristin Withy to Carreg Reed Bed, and a Grasshopper Warbler was heard singing in Ty Nesaf garden. In the later afternoon, the first Arctic Tern of the year was seen out to sea, which is almost two weeks later than when this species arrived on the island last year. Wader counts for the day were highest mid-afternoon, when a moderately high tide forced a  handful of the rocks and onto Solfach: four Ringed Plovers, one Sanderling, 11 Purple Sandpiper, four Dunlins, 28 Whimbrels, one Curlew, two Common Sandpipers and 15 summer-plumaged Turnstones were recorded.

A handful of the migrant Sedge Warblers have settled down in certain locations, where some males are singing on territory; in the new Reed Bed, for example, there are currently three singing males within about 40 metre of each other! 
Many Meadow Pipits are now incubating in their small grassy nests around the island, with many lonesome male birds dotted around the island 
 A very poor record shot, that nevertheless shows a very clear contrast between our breeding Ringed Plover (left), and the migrant C. h. psammadroma Ringed Plovers (right) that are moving through at the moment. Note both the much darker appearance, and also smaller size 
female Mallard in front of Bardsey Island

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