Tuesday, 26 August 2014

August 25th:
With the recent new moon producing some high spring tides, there have been some notable gatherings of waders on the rocks around The Narrows at high tide recently. Today's counts amounted to: one Ringed Plover, two Knots, eight Purple Sandpipers, two Dunlins, three Whimbrels, 56 Curlews, seven Redshanks and 46 Turnstones. Two Teals flew past The Narrows in the early hours, and a Red-breasted Merganser was reported from the South Tip. In other news, there were virtually no new migrants noted from inland, although a single Goldcrest and seven Willow Warblers were recorded, along with one Swift.

August 26th
It was a day of very strong easterlies, with gusts of up to 40 mph recorded in the early morning. A few seawatching sessions in the morning yielded three Arctic Skuas- the first for several weeks- as well as five Common Scoters, 12 Fulmars, 935 Manx Shearwaters, 34 Gannets, 44 Kittiwakes and a Sandwich Tern. It was very difficult to find any passerines in the wind-battered vegetation inland, although a single Spotted Flycatcher was found at Nant.

Hairbells have been emerging in localised areas around the island over the last week or so
A Spotted Flycatcher was trapped and ringed at Cristin on the 20th, and weighed 14.1 grams. It was retrapped on the 24th, weighing just a single gram more. However, when it was retrapped again on the 25th, it had managed to increase its body weight to 15.1 grams (despite the grim weather).
Spotted Flycatchers are a Red listed breeding species in the UK, with a population decline noted over the last 20 years. Did you know that the maximum recorded age for this species in eight years?
(C) Bob Norman
Some of the highest counts of Grey Seal for the year have been recorded recently around the Narrows and South End. The highest count of the month was of 195 individuals on the 20th. It won't be too long before the pups appear on the shingly beaches. (C) Bob Norman
The Manx Shearwater chicks continue to grow in size in their earth burrows. Some of the chicks weigh more than 400 grams, which is considerably more than that of the adults. Still, I think I would want fat reserves as large as that if I was planning to fly to South America for the winter... (C) Mark Carter

Some images taken over the last two days (all pictures (c) Ben Porter):
There was a large swell rolling in from the west on Tuesday, and the very strong easterly gusts created some dramatic seascapes as the crests of the waves were blown back 
The Little Owl family on Pen Cristin has dispersed somewhat now, although one or two individuals have been seen in the gorse bushes every now and then. This adult showed quite well after the torrential downpours had ceased, and the evening sun emerged 
It is still surprising how many fledglings are emerging from the bushes and trees around the island. A new brood of Goldfinches has just fledged from a nest in Nant Withy (making it by far the best breeding season for this species on Bardsey), and the occasional Linnet chick (above) has fluttered out of its nest site in the gorse bushes 
Juvenile Magpie making use of some parasites on a ram lamb 
Curlews, with Ty Nesaf, The Abbey and Celtic crosses in the background 
Juvenile Dunlin 
There have been a couple of Red Knots around The Narrows in recent days. Generally it has been a very poor year for this species on Bardsey- there have been fewer than 10 records all year. Last year, in contrast, there were 28 individuals recorded before the end of August.
Some of the highest counts of Turnstones so far this autumn were recorded in the last few days, with a flock of 41 logged yesterday.


  1. Great photos as always. Its nice to see photos of the flowers, love the Harebell.

  2. your images are just awesome, really very appreciable. keep it up