Wednesday, 11 May 2016
BLYTH’S PIPIT! With the numbers and array of species present this week we always knew something big could be on the cards. And so this evening it came true, when a large Pipit species was found by Assistant Warden Mark Carter on Pen Cristin. First distant views of a pale sandy bird gave impressions of Tawny Pipit but those niggling doubts refused go away. With pale lores and distinct mantle streaking thoughts were turned to the possibility of an even rarer Pipit. With the wardening team reconvening with scopes, cameras, and reference material the bird was finally pinned down to the grassy slopes, and began to show rather well. All the salient plumage features, including call, were ticked off and Britain’s first ever spring record of Blyth’s Pipit was confirmed.
Bardsey’s first (and only) Blyth’s Pipit was found in 2005, then the first record for Wales, with today's bird becoming the third record for Wales, following one in Pembrokeshire in autumn 2014.
The short hind claw is visible in this image
the neat and evenly streaked mantle is clear in this image
Note the short de-curved hind claw
Short compact appearance
note the horizontal stance, the bird was never bold and upright as Richard's Pipit
the weak malar stripe and very light breast streaking
and the even and neatly streaked crown
Playing second fiddle today was our lingering male Eastern Subalpine Warbler still finding the South End gorse to its liking.
In a decent arrival of passerines overnight three Wood Warblers would have been far and away the day’s highlight before the aforementioned Pipit. Further warblers recorded include 19 Sedge Warblers, one Reed Warbler, 20 Whitethroats, five Garden Warblers, 39 Blackcaps, 18 Chiffchaffs, eight Willow Warblers, seven Goldcrests, and the male Firecrest still singing at Nant.
A Common Redpoll put in a brief appearance at Cristin, with 22 Lesser Redpolls and 13 Siskins also noted. The Narrows excelled again for waders as one Ringed Plover, 20 Purple Sandpipers, five Dunlins, two Bar-tailed Godwits, 20 Whimbrels, and 17 Turnstones fed at high tide whilst sea-watching produced counts of one Arctic Skua, 34 Common Scoters, and one Sandwich Tern.
The Short-eared Owl was seen again at Ty Pellaf, with further highlights from the day including one Tree Pipit one Kestrel, three Sand Martins, 403 Swallows, 50 House Martins, one, 24 Wheatears, one Song Thrush, 24 Spotted Flycatchers, one Rook, and a surprisingly female Red-veined Darter at the Schoolhouse.
female Red-veined Darter