Wednesday, 13 May 2015
A glorious sunny day with hardly a breath of wind saw the year's largest movements of hirundines taking place, and there were some reasonable migrant numbers in the vegetated areas too. The highlight of the day came in the form of a very smart Wood Warbler, which became the first to be trapped and ringed on Bardsey since May 2009! Singles of Flava Wagtail, Black Redstart, Reed Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat were also noteworthy. Hirundine passage was very pronounced, with Swallows streaming both north and southward over the island throughout the day. Figures logged are likely to be large underestimates, although a total of 41 Sand Martins, 542 Swallows and 172 House Martins were recorded. Warbler and flycatcher numbers were only just higher than in previous days, with 34 Sedge Warblers, 14 Whitethroats, two Garden Warblers, 10 Blackcaps, 20 Chiffchaffs, 11 Willow Warblers, three Goldcrests and 23 Spotted Flycatchers being the final tallies. Waders were around in reasonable numbers, with one Ringed Plover, three Sanderlings, five Dunlins, 24 Whimbrels, 3 Curlews and one Common Sandpiper seen.
Wood Warbler- a fairly scarce bird on Bardsey, which is just about annual in occurrence
Differences in eye colour in Common Whitethroats, which is suggestive of an age 5 in the above bird (1st summer) and age 6 in the lower male (adult). However, a male bird re-trapped last year with a very dull eye colour was discovered to have been ringed several years previously- this has shaken our trust in this technique somewhat!