Friday, 9 May 2014

With the promise of high pressure and settled conditions in the coming week, the stong southerly winds and absence of new migrants was somewhat easier to bare. A small movement of seabirds out to sea resulted in a total of 17 Fulmars, 262 Manx Shearwaters, 10 Gannets, 13 Kittiwakes, 11 Guillemots, 19 Razorbills and three Puffins logged. A lonesome Cuckoo sheltering amongst the gorse bushes on the South End represented the only new migrant at that end of the island, whilst the ongoing passage of hirundines comprised two Sand Martins, 177 Swallows and 22 House Martins. Since the 4th of May, we have recorded a total of 1400 Swallows as they have sped southward over the island- the destination of these birds is a little uncertain: surely they are not failed breeders already migrating back southwards? Or are they very late breeding birds trying to find the shortest crossing to their Irish breeding sites?

Whimbrel numbers continue to remain well into the double figures: a total of 36 were recorded today, and there has been a mean daily figure of 33 for the last week.
Did you know the meaning of Whimbrels' scientific name? Numenius phaeopus essentially translates to: neos= New and mene= Moon, referring to the crescent-shaped sliver of light close to this phase of the moon, and thus the shape of the bird's bill. Phaeopus means....phaios= dusky and pous= foot. 
 It seems like a good year for breeding Wheatears so far, with at least four pairs nesting from Pen Cristin to the South Tip alone. There has not been a great deal of searching on the East Side as yet, but there are usually at least three pairs there too. The 2003 to 2012 mean for Wheatear breeding pairs on Bardsey is 8.
Many of the island's breeding male Linnets are looking rather smart at the moment

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