Thursday, 31 March 2016
A stunning day weather-wise as the sun baked down on the island and a cool breeze came in off the sea. A day that made the rainy days of last week a mere memory of the past. And, even better, some serious bird migration was afoot.
The day started strongly as an unexpected Long-eared Owl was taken out of the Heligoland Trap at Cristin. A fantastic opportunity to see this secretive species up close and personal. Those fiery eyes (below) mislead you however, it was as placid as can be, and was seen later in the day flying over the Mountainside near Ty Pellaf.
The first Long-eared Owl caught for four years
Over the course of the morning it became apparent that birds were making landfall onto the island. Census and ringing produced counts of 34 Wheatears, four Blackcaps, 42 Chiffchaffs, 12 Willow Warblers, 154 Goldcrests, and one Firecrest; making it an excellent day to be out in the field.
In addition to the aforementioned Owl, two Sparrowhawks, three Buzzards, one Kestrel, and one Merlin hunted the incoming migrants (and coupled with the resident Peregrines and Little Owls). The Narrows produced one Curlew, nine Redshanks, 12 Turnstones plus the majority of the 34 Pied Wagtails and five White Wagtails recorded today. Also noted were one Skylark, three Sand Martins, one Swallow, 182 Meadow Pipits, one Fieldfare, three Starlings, three Siskins, one Lesser Redpoll and one Red-throated Diver.
The first day of the year where Wheatear numbers have exceed 30