Wednesday, 20 January 2016

One of the nicest days on the island for quite a few weeks with winds of around 14mph from a south south east direction and not a cloud in sight....but still very chilly.

Thought the lowlands an up to the north end of the island was where most of the bird activity took place. Early on a male Sparrowhawk gave fantastically close views as it patrolled some of the gardens and harassed the locals Magpies, diving at some of them as they punched on the roofs of the buildings. A flock of 16 Linnets spent the day around Nant, joined by a couple of Chaffinches they picked their way through one of the fields adjacent to the chapel. During the morning whilst inside one of the outbuilding a brief call of a bird in flight was heard, a mournful, weak sounding "pyu", recognising it as sounding like Bullfinch a quick dash outside and a scan around sadly produced nothing. Whilst a lunchtime census of the plantation and gardens was coming to an end low and behold a stunning male Bullfinch shot out of one of the gardens and perched on some brambles for a few moments before seeing its striking bright white rump disappear into a small copse. Not a common bird on Bardsey but there have been a few records in recent years.

Tracks of an Oystercatcher, which seem to frequent the mud around the buildings at night

The day generally felt very active and almost spring like. Robins holding territories, Wrens belting out songs from the bushes, a pair of Stonechats chasing each other along the stone walls bordering the mountainside, a Common Buzzard being hounded by corvids in the lowlands and a surprise Cormorant deciding to fly down the island whooshing over observers heads only a few meters from the ground.

A quick walk passed the narrows and late sea watch for the most part was very quiet, Hooded Crow, 47 Curlews, two Redshank and a Pied Wagtail present on the narrows. A Purple Sandpiper and Shelduck being the only notables out to sea as they flew through the sound at the north end.

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