Friday, 19 September 2014

At about 2040 yesterday evening, the first few drops of rain for over three weeks began falling on the island. After this initial threat, conditions cleared for much of the evening, before closing in around midnight. Heavy rain and thunder ensued in the small hours, and lead to a quite sizeable attraction taking place at the Lighthouse, even though the bean is now a flashing LED. After the last of the rain cleared at dawn, the island was left covered in phylloscopus warblers, and one or two scarcer species amongst them.

The rarest sighting of the day came in the form of a long overdue Barred Warbler, which was found near Ty Pellaf in the morning, and remained there until midday. Common migrants were dominated by a grand total of 443 Chiffchaffs. This total includes a break down of the following: 
South End- 170  
Cristin- 86
Nant- 84
Ty Pellaf and Pen Cristin- 37
Withies- 28

Amongst these small warblers were nine Grasshopper Warblers, two Sedge Warblers, 16 Whitethroats, a Garden Warbler, nine Blackcaps, 56 Willow Warblers, 54 Goldcrests and five Spotted Flycatchers. Other sightings comprised a single Yellow Wagtail on the Narrows, one Common Redstart, four Whinchats, 20 Stonechats, 54 Wheatears, four Song Thrushes and seven Skylarks.

 This first-winter Barred Warbler was discovered near Ty Pellaf in the morning, and is the first one to be seen in Wales so far this year. It is also the first one on Bardsey since October 2012

A selection of images of the most abundant migrant today...phylloscopus warblers...
Chiffchaffs and Willow Warbler (2nd from the top). There were between 400 and 500 Chiffchaffs on the island today, with over a hundred alone seen in and around the Lighthouse attraction. With dense cloud and the threat of rain tonight, eyes will certainly be turned towards the lighthouse, in the chance that another lighthouse attraction might occur (three Chiffchaffs and a Manx Shearwater were killed last night due to the lighthouse) 
Goldcrest. The weights of the few caught today indicated that they are feeding reasonably well. Most birds were above 5.2 grams.