Saturday, 26 March 2016

Our second species of Hirundine in as many days was today’s highlight as two separate Sand Martins were seen heading north along the Mountainside. Another interesting development was the year’s first Willow Warbler trapped at Cristin, three days earlier than last year.

An excellent tally of 445 Manx Shearwaters were recorded heading south at sea in the evening, and after a little digging, seemingly becoming the highest March count on record. A flock of 18 Purple Sandpipers were a nice find on The Narrows at high tide, alongside one Whimbrel and 19 Turnstones. Elsewhere one Snipe, one Skylark, three Wheatears, one Blackcap, 17 Chiffchaffs, six Goldcrests, one Starling, and ten Common Scoters were seen.

Bumblebees have been appearing all over the island, particularly attracted to the pussy willows and pollen-rich buds of the Willow. Two species have been seen so far, and most sightings have involved large Queens that are seeking out a suitable site to rear a colony. This is Bombus lucorum, or the White-tailed Bumblbee

This curious and miniature Woodlouse is an Ant Woodlouse (Platyarthrus hoffmansegi). Amazingly, they live most of their lives underground and beneath rocks in the nests of various ant species, such as this Black Ant (Lasnius niger). It is thought that the ants tolerate their ghostly presence because they clear the next of debris and faeces. On the island, they can be found around Ty Pellaf and the Limekiln in the banks

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