Sunday, 7 September 2014

Although there were very low numbers of common migrants around the island today, several scarcities were seen during the morning, two of which were trapped and ringed at Cristin. In island terms, the rarest bird of the day came in the form of a Nightingale, which was found in some bracken near Ty Pellaf in the morning. After disappearing for some time, the bird was then found in the bottom shelf of one of the mist nets at Cristin, and was duly ringed and released. This is the first Nightingale to be trapped and ringed on Bardsey since May 2008. The arrival of this scarce migrant coincided with a very localised and brief movement of chats along the mountainside, with a total of 15 Robins, 10 Stonechats and a Whinchat recorded between Ty Pellaf and the obs at this time. After first being seen walking about on top of one of the obs Heligoland traps, a Wryneck was trapped and ringed mid-morning, which was fantastic for all visitors who were close by, and could watch the characteristic 'wrynecking' motion these brilliant birds display. A second Wryneck was discovered near Ty Pellaf later on in the morning. Out to sea, a possible adult Sabine's Gull was seen amongst some Kittiwakes off the South End in the early hours, whilst the first Pintail of the year flew past with two Teals.

The Wryneck 'doing its thing'
These are truly remarkable birds, especially in the hand! Even their scientific name, Junx torquilla, presents a description of such an odd movement: torquere is Latin for 'to twist'. The main food source of this species is Ants, which is why the best place on Bardsey to find them is along the mountainside


Several Hummingbird Hawkmoths have been seen in the last few days


  1. Fantastic Pictures. Not the easiest creatures to photograph! Ben is now as good as a professional.