Sunday, 28 September 2014

The last three Sundays have been rather good for turning up scarce species on the island. Today was no exception. The day got off to a great start when a Hoopoe was discovered on Pen Cristin. Minutes after it was found, the bird shot skyward, with three Peregrines in hot pursuit. A spectacular display ensued between these four birds, with the result that the Hoopoe disappeared high over the mountain into the clouds. Half and hour later, the bird was flushed off the mountainside above Nant, and was then pursued briefly by a Sparrowhawk and some Carrion Crows, before it dived into the relative safety of the Plantation.

A first winter Sabine's Gull was seen briefly off the South End in the morning, where a Little Egret also materialised for a few minutes. A Richard's Pipit came in off the sea near the North Hide, and flew south over the west side and the withies. The Barred Warbler was seen around Cristin again, and was trapped too. A very brief sighting of a hippolais warbler in Cristin garden late afternoon could have proved interesting, but the bird was not seen again.

In terms of common migrants, totals comprised the following:
Visible migration: one Buzzard, one Golden Plover, five Skylarks, two Tree Pipits, 156 Meadow Pipits, 54 Grey Wagtails, 67 alba Wagtails, 12 Rooks, 23 Carrion Crows, six Ravens, 123 Chaffinches, two Greenfinches, four Goldfinches and a Reed Bunting.
Migrants 'on land': 52 Pied Wagtails, 38 Robins, two Whinchats, 16 Stonechats, three Wheatears, a Song Thrush, two Reed Warblers, four Lesser Whitethroats, three Whitethroats, seven Blackcaps, 10 Chiffchaffs, three Willow Warblers, 37 Goldcrests and a Firecrest.

The Hoopoe gave quite fleeting views along the mountainside towards mid-morning, but generally views were of the bird silhouetted against the sky, with various species of raptors in pursuit. This is the first Hoopoe on Bardsey since the bird in 2011, which was trapped and ringed. 
Three Lesser Whitethroats were seen during the day, one of which was trapped

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