Saturday, 12 July 2014

The 11th was yet another gloriously sunny day, and saw temperatures rocket into the 20s in the absence of a breeze. Non-passerines of note seen during the day included a Grey Heron, 27 Common Scoters, three Dunlins, a Whimbrel, 22 Curlews, six Redshanks, three Common Sandpipers, and 12 Black-headed Gulls. Passerine migrants were thin on the ground, although a total of 16 Swifts and one Sand Martin headed south over the south end. A slight increase in wind strength and the arrival of drizzly rain on the 12th made for a change of scene. Nine Sand Martins flew south over Pen Cristin in the early hours, and there was a similar scattering of waders around The Narrows at high tide.

The daily censuses around the island continue to reveal large numbers of fledged young and juveniles, and it continues to prove as one of the best breeding seasons for almost every species on the island. Numbers of some of the commonest species yesterday were recorded as: 75 Meadow Pipits, 46 Rock Pipits, 27 Wheatears and over 100 Linnets.

Oystercatchers continue to pester anyone who ventures within about 100 metres of their progeny, even when their chicks are fully fledged! Daily counts of Oystercatchers are around 120 at the moment, although only 10 to 20 of these are juveniles
Auks such as these smart Puffins are feeding chicks at the moment 
This very richly-coloured Little Owl belongs to the Pen Cristin pair, which have successfully reared one juvenile 
The Whitethroats at Carreg Bach are busy rearing their second brood, and are finding plenty of food to satisfy demand

The Beautiful Carpet was discovered in Ty Capel mid-afternoon on the 11th, and is a new species for Bardsey. This is now the 17th species to be added to the Bardsey lepidoptera list this year 
The two main species of tortrix that regularly turn up in the moth traps are Dark Fruit-tree Tortrix (Pandemis heparana-left) and Rose Tortrix (Archips rosana- right). This comparison shows the main differences between the two species, with P. heparana on the left, and A. rosana on the right. Note the shorter, fatter and more angular appearance of Rose Tortrix
It is shaping up to be a record year for Pyrausta despicata around the island's coast. Hundreds of moths have been seen within 100 metres transect lines, indicating the presence of thousands on the island. A minimum of 350 were seen on the South Tip alone yesterday afternoon
Moth-fly, Pericoma fuligilosa
This crazy-looking beast is a spider look-alike, but is in fact a member of the Harvestmen species. More specifically, it is Phalangium opilio, and is one of the most widespread species of harvestmen in the world. It occurs as a native species in Europe and Asia, but has been introduced into North America, North Africa and New Zealand

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