Monday, 22 February 2016

A brisk walk over the mountain in morning sun was a good chance to catch up on what was going on on the east side. Herring Gulls, a small number of Lesser Black-backed Gulls and Greater Black-backed Gulls occupied some of the breeding sites and rode the thermals high above the mountain. Whilst four Fulmars circled the ledges below, 14 Choughs floated in the light winds, four Ravens skimmed the lower slopes and Peregrines patrolled the south and north end of the slopes. A single Starling was spotted just below the summit and a gang of 30 Oystercatchers noisily circled a bay at the north end.  

One of Bardsey's protected species, Golden Hair Lichen, its once wide spread distribution now restricted with its range greatly contracted. In wales now, only in isolated patches.

Golden Hair Lichen growing on the mountain ridge
Reasonably quiet in the lowlands and withies with the usual Wrens, odd DunnockRobin, Blackbird and Song Thrush noted, but flock of Meadow Pipits numbering 16 was a welcome change, numbers should increase over the next few weeks.

Willow catkins
Present around the west side of the Narrows 20 Curlews took flight up the west coast leaving a single Whimbrel at rest on the shoreline. Six Mallards were just north of the beach and two Shags dried their wings on a the rocks just out to sea. On the opposite side 36 Oystercatchers, an additional five Mallards, two Redshanks, five Turnstones, two Rock Pipits, one Pied Wagtail, and two Magpies picked their way around 80 Grey Seals on the shingle. Three Linnets headed south over the narrows with their squeaky flight calls.

Two Sparrowhawks, one of them a male were spotted throughout the day and then later soaring above the mountain in the evening. A pair attempted to breed next to the plantation last season but unfortunately failed at the egg stage, hopefully an attempt will again be made this year! Firecrest, three Chaffinches and six Woodpigeons were the only other notables today.

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