Thursday, 11 September 2014

It was another day of clear skies, dazzling sunshine, warm temperatures and very calm north-easterly winds. However, the marked absence of any significant numbers of common migrants continues to puzzle. The highest numbers come from the movements of birds over the South End and The Narrows in the early hours. This morning's totals amounted to: one Swift, one Sand Martin, 128 Swallows, a Tree Pipit, 156 Meadow Pipits, a 'flava' Wagtail and 17 Grey Wagtails. In the afternoon, a Wryneck was seen briefly at Nant (likely to be different to the bird from previous days), and three Whinchats, a Song Thrush, two Blackcaps and two Spotted Flycatchers were also noted. A flock of three Ruffs and a Golden Plover over the South End were the highlight of a small movement of waders in the morning. Other species noted at high tide included a Ringed Plover, four Dunlins, a Snipe, a Whimbrel, four Redshanks and seven Turnstones. Out to sea, a minor passage of terns included 16 Sandwich Terns, four Common Terns and six Arctic Terns.

The young Peregrines continue hunt and play around the island, although they are gradually becoming more serious in their hunting (as opposed to the playful scraps the juveniles often had with Oystercatchers and Choughs)

Take this scene, for example.... 
This unfortunate Turnstone was pursued by two juvenile Peregrines, one of which came very close indeed to pinning the wader down. However, the Peregrine couldn't quite close the gap, and so this particular Turnstone managed to escape (this time) 
The Little Owl family on Pen Cristin have dispersed somewhat now, although occasionally one of the adults can be seen hiding away in the mature gorse bushes 
Sparrowhawks continue to terrorise passerines around the island. This particular female interrupted a Rock Pipit-ringing session on Solfach mid-morning, and spent ten minutes perched on top of the portable Heligoland!
The last broods of Swallows have now fledged, and will be joining the southward-bound stream of migrants in no time at all

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