Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Apologies for the somewhat irregular and patchy updates in the last few days, but has been pretty hectic, to say the least! After the realisation that the Cretzschmar's Bunting was settled and performing quite reliably, the interest in seeing the bird escalated rather rapidly in a national scale. A total of 97 people visited the island yesterday to see the bird, and all were treated to at least a brief view of the bunting as it went about feeding on some seed that had been placed out in the lighthouse compound. A further three boat loads of birders were ferried across this morning, but deteriorating weather conditions meant afternoon trips were a no go, and also that there would be no crossings tomorrow. It has easily been the biggest twitch in Bardsey's history. Fingers crossed that the bird will remain so that those booked in for boat trips on Thursday and Friday will be able to see this stunning visitor.

In other news, today has brought many other exciting birds to our shore...two Quails were flushed from the north-west heath in the early morning, and one was subsequently trapped and ringed via use of a drag-net. This becomes the first to be ringed on the island since May 2008. Singles of first-summer Mediterranean, Black-headed and Common Gulls flew past the island in the morning, whilst three Curlews, a Whimbrel and two Black Guillemots were also recorded. In terms of passerines, two Whitethroats, two Blackcaps and three Chiffchaffs were seen, along with four Starlings.

first-summer male Cretzschmar's Bunting

The very smart female Quail that was trapped and ringed at the north end

A few of the visiting birders have been lucky enough to see some Thrift Clearwings whilst waiting for the bunting to perform near the Lighthouse

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