Thursday, 18 August 2016

A fairly quiet day in relation to the past few with small numbers of most species and very little in the way of new birds in. A pair of Pied Flycatchers were probably the pick of the bunch inland, one at the Plantation and the other in the Lowlands. A Sedge Warbler occupied one of the reed beds, a Reed Warbler was trapped in the Withies during a mornings ringing session, two Whitethroats, a Blackcap, one Chiffichaff, five Willow Warblers, two Goldcrests and three Chaffinches were logged. Whilst 60 Wrens, seven Dunnocks, five Robins, a great count of 29 Stonechats, 19 Wheatears and 12 Blackbirds were scattered throughout the island. There was no sign of either the Bonelli's WarblerCitrine Wagtail, or the Long-eared Owl although efforts to find them were made. Little Owls called during the evening and were noted in the Lowlands, above the Observatory and on Pen Cristin above the farm.

Pipits and Wagtails were present in decent numbers with three Tree Pipits passing overhead, 55 Meadow Pipits littering the fields, 32 Rock Pipits mostly around the narrows and harbours, two Grey Wagtails and ten Pied Wagtails. Scattered amongst these were 334 Linnets, the highest count of the month so far, and whose numbers have been slowly increasing over the past weeks

Gulls featured heavily again but passage at sea and counts of seabirds were fairly sparse, but there were some sightings none the less. A lone Fulmar passed the north end, 41 Manx Shearwaters, some out at sea but also including a few chicks in burrows, ten Gannets, eight Cormorants, 15 Shags, severn Common Scoters, 69 Black-headed Gulls and 556 Kittiwakes were seen. Gulls again milled around in roosting and feeding flocks and amounted to 100 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 556 Herring Gulls and 38 Greater Black-backed Gulls.

More Manx Shearwater study burrows were check today to asses their contents and if chicks were present, biometrics taken and rings placed on their legs before being swiftly returned to their burrows. Some are very advanced now, not quite ready for fledging but getting close. Within the next few weeks some of these birds maybe heading out onto the Irish sea for the first time in their lives before heading out into the Atlantic Ocean and eventually the seas off South America.

An almost adult, but not quite looking Manx Shearwater chick, still slightly podgy and at the fluffy pants stage
Small hooked points at the ends of the primaries
Dark auxiliaries of a youngster
A variety of waders again graced the beaches, harbours and coasts. A group of four Ringed Plovers spent the day on one of the beaches along with 68 Turnstones, three Purple Sandpipers and six Dunlins. Whilst dotted around were two Common Snipes, six Whimbrels, 24 Curlews, three Redshanks, one Greenshank and nine Common Sandpipers.

Good counts of Green-veined Whites and other Lepidoptera were logged also. Large Whites came to four, Green-veined Whites numbered 215, three Small Coppers, three Common Blues, 28 Red Admirals, six Painted Lady's, four Peacocks, six Greyling's, 12 Meadow Browns and a Northern Eggar were also seen

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