Sunday, 19 April 2015

The continuation of the settled easterly winds and clear skies allowed migration through the island to continue in full force today, with hundreds of migrants logged during the day. A great selection of noteworthy species spiced the day's birding up even more, as did the ringing of almost 100 birds.

Notable sightings: a Little Egret (now the third of the year) gave brief views around the south tip in the early morning; a Stock Dove flew over the island, after the flock of two yesterday; a Canada Goose joined the usual feeding frenzy of gulls in Solfach; and the first Cuckoo and Spotted Flycatcher of 2015 arrived onto the island- the latter of these represents the earliest ever arrival date on the island, which was set in 1984 on 22 April. Finally, a Ring Ouzel above Nant was the first for a few days.

In terms of common migrants, there were good movements of Greenland-race Wheatears, yet more Blackcaps, phylloscopus warblers and White Wagtails. Blackcaps are having an astounding year on Bardsey, and this pattern seems to be repeated at other places, such as Skokholm (which is having a record spring for this species). A total of 71 were recorded today, and almost 50 of these were trapped and ringed, taking the year's ringing total well over 200. In terms of other warbler species, two Grasshopper Warblers, one Sedge Warblers, one Whitethroat, 40 Willow Warblers, 46 Chiffchaffs and two Goldcrests were seen. Wheatear passage was very pronounced with a total of 135 recorded; a Grey Wagtail, 47 White Wagtails, three Whimbrels, a Common Sandpiper and one Merlin were other sightings from the day.

Another good day of ringing saw around 90 birds trapped and ringed, adding to a pretty impressive total amassed from the last week of ringing 

first summer Blackcaps- this species is the most common species trapped at the moment, with 42 trapped and ringed today alone. The month's total is over 200 now, and so 2015 is set to be a record year 

this rather smart Common Redstart was trapped and ringed at Nant

Willow Warbler

Greenland-race Wheatear

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