Sunday, 24 January 2016

Highlights of a misty day started with a walk through the wetlands on the way south towards the narrows. Whilst transecting the long grassy boggy patches and small pools in the wetlands a total of 12 Snipe, a Jack Snipe, Song Thrush and two Meadow Pipits were seen. One by one the Snipe took off with their characteristic call, like the sound of squelching mud and flew towards the west coast and out of sight. One small Snipe, identified as a Jack Snipe, took flight just a foot or so from the observer, it flew thirty meters or so before taking refuge in a bramble hedge.

The narrows was without some of its numbers of birds today, most likely still on the island but somewhere out of sight. The Curlew flock was not present, possibly further south around the lighthouse or up on the slopes of Pen Cristin where they frequent. Redshank  and Chough numbers were also lacking with one and six seen respectively. The usual flock of gulls had gathered on the grass, some bathing in the makeshift pond. Mostly Herring Gulls totalling 37, but two Greater Black-backed and a Lesser Black-backed Gull joined them. The first Lesser Black-backed Gull for a month or so, possibly the start of birds returning from heading south for the winter. Eight Turnstones, five Mallards, two Shags, a Cormorant and 18 Rock Pipits were seen but no sign of the Hooded Crow or pair of Shelduck that were present in recent weeks.

Again a late afternoon sea watch didn't produce much, 36 Guillemots, 5 Kittiwakes, singles of Fulmar, Common Scoter and Gannet. A Curlew passed heading north and a Shelduck passed south.

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