Saturday, 2 January 2016

Ben Porter left the island today to continue his studies at university after a christmas break so coverage of the island won't be as extensive and most certainly top notch photographs maybe lacking in the blog.

The day brought a dramatic drop in winds and only the odd drizzly shower so numbers on the passerine front were certainly more than in prior days. Highlights of the day were present at the north end of the island around the Nant area where the elusive Barn Owl was found roosting in one of the outbuildings. Before making its graceful escape out through the open door the Barn Owl fluttered around the room, briefly alighting on a windowsill where views seem to suggest that it was possibly un-ringed and not the adult bird that was caught and ringed in the previous autumn. A male Firecrest around the plantation was another pleasant highlight as it zipped around restlessly feeding. Three Goldcrests, a single Great Tit and Song Thrush, a scattering of Wrens, Robins, Dunnocks and Blackbirds made up the rest of the numbers around the north end and through the central lowlands of the island.

Around the narrows a Great Northern Diver headed south out at sea whilst Herring Gulls, Black-headed Gulls and a small gathering of 21 Mallards bobbed in the swell. A flock of 24 Purple Sandpipers hid around the coastal rocks and 14 Turnstones, five Redshanks and ten Curlews were the counts on the wader front today. The ever present Hooded Crow, small group of four Choughs, a mobile gathering of 160 Starlings and a single Pied Wagtail and male Stonechat were also in the vicinity.

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