Sunday, 17 January 2016

A "hike" up Pen Cristin (a small ridge that overlooks some of the steep east side slopes on the island) was rewarded with views of 85 Guillemots wheeling around in a large flock close to the lower cliffs.  They can be know to prospect for nest sites as early as December and January so these were presumably checking out potential ledges for the breeding season to come. The odd Herring Gulls were also starting to occupy some of the breeding sites, still early but nice to see the signs of spring to come. Nine Choughs and 20 Starlings were also seen in the vicinity.

From there a walk down towards the narrows produced similar numbers and species seen over the past weeks. An additional 16 Choughs, 16 Rock Pipits, 37 Oystercatchers, severn Redshanks, ten Turnstones and just 15 Curlew (although there were bound to be a few more hiding somewhere on the island). A Whimbrel resting on some of the rocks just off shore was fantastic to see as there are fewer than 30 reported Whimbrels wintering in the United Kingdom this winter, the majority usually head further south for the winter, occupying coast around Africa before heading north again for spring. Singles of Hooded Crow and Shelduck were other pleasant additions.

A smart Common Buzzard in the lowlands (for once not being harassed by local corvids), a Song Thrush, Stonechat, two Goldcrests and Siskin were the only other notable birds seen around the island today.

The moth trap set last night wasn't exactly the most exciting, with only a handful of fly's (of which I am afraid I am not familiar with) and no moths. Better luck tomorrow night maybe?

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