Sunday, 14 February 2016

A much more settled day weather wise and a nice selection of thrushes made for an enjoyable day.

The sighting of a small group of nine Starling was a pleasant start to the day and the first seen for quite a few weeks. Wrens sang from various territories along the side of the mountain as a Song Thrush darted from cover to cover and two Ravens and two Peregrines patrolled the sky above. Around the observatory garden and towards the farm the odd Robin could be heard "ticking" and a very dapper looking male Stonechat perched out on fence lines giving some cracking views. Around the back of the farm the characteristic rattling, machine gun like call of a Mistle Thrush was heard, and not long after views of it taking off from one of the fields and coming to rest on one of the banks on the lower slopes of the mountain. Further great sightings of it and some nice views in flight showing off the clean white underwings, size and overall paleness of the bird in comparison to the smaller and more rufous looking Song Thrush.

A walk later on in the day through the lowlands and around Nant added very little in the way of different species but was nice enough. A couple of Goldcrests flitted in the plantation, an increase in Woodpigeons now numbering four, an additional two Song Thrushes, Fieldfare from the previous day, five Wrens, two Blackbirds, a Dunnock and Herring Gulls rode the thermals high above the mountain ridge. The Fieldfare ended up in the same field as the Mistle Thrush which had now moved further north up the island. Both were fairly approachable for usually quite shy birds which in turn meant you could really appreciate these stunning thrushes.

Tracks of a Mallard found in the lowlands
The Choughs on the island have disbanded their usual roaming winter flock and appear to be starting to possible pair up for the up and coming season. Interestingly a new pair last season, which tried to breed but unfortunately failed, may have changed partners to form a new breeding pair. In 2015 the pair consisted of an unrigned bird and a colour ringed bird which was one of the fledglings from a resident pair on Bardsey. The colour ringed bird is still present and has been seen at the north end various times over the past week, but the unringed bird is nowhere to be seen and it appears it may now have been replaced with a different bird, which is also colour ringed but is not a "Bardsey bird" this space.

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