Thursday, 26 May 2016

Another fine day, another Tree Sparrow. This time watched flying north over Plas mid-morning. The run of records in recent weeks is nothing short of phenomenal for our little island considering their usual rarity. Considering this, suggestions have been mooted of a potential breeding pair but nothing concrete has been proven so far. Fingers crossed.

The cloud cover overnight seemed to cause a resurgence in our warbler numbers with one Grasshopper Warbler, 16 Sedge Warblers, one Reed Warbler, 14 Whitethroats, seven Blackcaps, 16 Chiffchaffs, and two Willow Warblers logged. A female Cuckoo and five Spotted Flycatchers were also flitting around as one Sand Martin, 48 Swallows, 17 House Martins, three Siskins, and two Lesser Redpolls flew over. At sea 2860 Manx Shearwaters was an excellent count again whilst good wader tallies included seven Sanderlings, 15 Purple Sandpipers, and eight Dunlins.

It's that time of year again! We have started carrying out the census of the island's breeding seabird populations to see how numbers are faring for a variety of species. Here is a recently-hatched Razorbill chick (upper left), along with two Guillemot eggs (right). Interestingly, Guillemot eggs vary enormously in their patterning, each egg have a unique 'fingerprint' pattern which allows the incubating parent to identify its own egg amongst a haphazard collection of countless others!

Away from the precarious cliffs and into the bushes and trees...Carrion Crow nests are mostly occupied by quite large chicks now, and we have been ringing a few broods in recent days. 

Sedge and Reed Warbler (top and lower, respectively), trapped at Cristin in the morning

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