Sunday, 13 December 2015
The 10th saw the wind and waves ease just enough to allow Colin to cross to the island with returning (semi) residents Ben and Rachel Porter. Ben will be on the island until late December, before returning back down to Cornwall for the next term. Mark Carter and Sian Stacy will be arriving back onto the island in the near future, weather-permitting, and will be moving into Ty Bach, where Sian will be based as the new island warden.
It has been a mixed few days on the island, with glorious sunny conditions on the 11th giving way to strong southerly winds and lashing rain on the 12th. In terms of bird sightings, it is good to see that both Whimbrel and Merlin are present around the coast for the winter, and the usual Hooded Crow has resumed residence around the Narrows. Solfach remains the busiest site on the island, sustaining the 450 Starlings, 35 Choughs, 45 Rock Pipits and whole host of gulls and waders that feed on the invertebrates in amongst the rotting seaweed. A good selection of waders at high tide on the 12th saw one Black-tailed Godwit, 58 Oystercatchers, six Purple Sandpipers, three Snipe, 37 Curlews, 10 Redshanks and 12 Turnstones. A feeding flock of Kittiwakes has been drifting around the island each day, containing a Mediterranean Gull on the 10th and 12 Common Gulls on the 11th.
There are plenty of Grey Seals around the coast at the moment, with a single haul-out of around 150 individuals on a small beach near the South End wall. There are also several Grey Seal pups around, although most are likely weaned off their mother at this point, and have either completed their moult or are nearly finished.
A timelapse of the sunset on Friday