Friday, 25 December 2015

First of all, a Merry Christmas to all! It has been one of the most miserable days of the month here on Ynys Enlli, but today has been preceded by some very pleasant conditions!

Happy Christmas!

Avian Diary

22nd December
A day of brisk winds and intermittent showers saw nine Purple Sandpipers, two Whimbrels, 47 Curlews, nine Redshanks and 20 Turnstones gather around the Narrows at high tide, which represents moderately higher counts that previous days and weeks. A smart first-winter Little Gull was seen feeding off the South End with the usual Kittiwakes, and two each of Razorbill and Guillemot passed by; raptors were represented by the (apparently) overwintering Kestrel and Sparrowhawk, both of which were present around Ty Pellaf in the morning.

23rd December
A survey of the shoreline at low tide once again revealed good numbers of the curious organisms called By-the-wind Sailors, which were washed up amongst the seaweed and driftwood (see here for more). A count of the entire coast was carried out mid-morning as part of the BTO's non-estuarine waterbird survey (NEWS). There were thus some reasonable counts of shorebirds made, including 73 Oystercatchers, a Purple Sandpiper, one Whimbrel, 57 Curlews, 14 Turnstones, 37 Black-headed Gulls, three Common Gulls, 399 Herring Gulls and 73 Kittiwakes. Singles of Sparrowhawk and Kestrel were also recorded, along with two Peregrines, a Hooded Crow, a Siskin and 51 Rock Pipits.

24th December
A day dominated largely by clear skies and strong westerly winds saw a very high tide in the early hours strip the beaches around the Narrows of most of the seaweed piles that have been gathering in previous weeks. A Shelduck, a Snipe and two Common Gulls were the most noteworthy non-passerines noted, whilst a good gathering of 26 Choughs, eight Starlings and the usual Hooded Crow was noted on Solfach. A single Little Owl was seen in the evening near Carreg Bach.

25th December
Lashing rain, strong southerly winds and chilly temperatures made for a bit of a grim day, and there were very few birds braving the conditions! A single Whimbrel and Snipe were noted around the Narrows.

Purple Sandpiper


By-the-wind Sailor

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