Wednesday, 18 June 2014

With very little change in the weather forecast for the next week or so, it looks like we are set to experience these light northerly winds and clear blue skies for a while longer yet. The warm and sunny weather is providing the passerine breeding birds with a feast of insects to feed their demanding young.

The highlights in terms of migrants today comprised the adult Cuckoo in Cristin Withy, a Spotted Flycatcher in Plas Withy, a Lesser Redpoll over Nant, and seven Curlews around The Narrows. A very successful Storm Petrel ringing session overnight yielded seven birds, which is the largest catch for over six years on Bardsey. Hopefully several more tape luring sessions in Nant Valley will produce similar results in weeks to come.

Moth trapping has been rather good in the last few days, despite the clear skies and chilly north wind; last light, for instance, a combined total of 270 moths was attracted to the Robinson trap at Cristin and the actinic Heath Trap at Nant. The best of the bunch came in the form of a Tawny-barred Angle, which is a new species for Bardsey, feeding on conifer trees. Similarly, a Scoparia pyralella was a new pyralid moth for Bardsey. The first Peach Blossom of the year was also trapped, along with a Ruby Tiger, Mottled and Willow Beauties and a Rusty Dot Pearl.

The four-or-so pair of House Martins nesting at the lighthouse have been busy collecting sticky mud from a small pool above Cafn. This rapidly diminishing puddle contains the perfect consistency of clay, silt and sand for this rather picky species
The pair of Whitethroats at Carreg Bach continue to bring all manner of insects to satisfy the want of their first brood. The adult birds are beginning to look a little worse for wear too!
Oystercatchers in the glorious early morning light at the moment. Several chicks have 'fledged', as it were, around the island, although at least two chicks have made some rather dramatic exits from this world: one was plucked from the rocky shoreline by a Lesser Black-backed Gull, before it proceeded to drown the unfortunate chick in the sea, ultimately gulping the large morsel down a few minutes later

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