Wednesday, 10 August 2016

A fantastic showing of Risso's Dolphins, 11 adults and two calves, just off the north end of the island kept lucky observers entertained for much of the morning, some breaching fully out of the water just in front of the hide. Other cetaceans included two Harbour Porpoise off the West Coast.

Manx Shearwaters again came throughout in great numbers, as did Gannets of which 3,296 and 175 were counted respectively. A couple of small clusters of Common Scoter, 18 being the final total, headed south along the west coast along with four Fulmar, three Sandwich Terns, two Razorbills and a Puffin. Gulls have been featuring heavily over the past few weeks with large groups roosting on the low tide rocks around Solfach and in the freshly cut hay fields. Black-headed Gulls numbered just four today whilst 62 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 275 Herring Gulls, 14 Greater Black-backed Gulls and 556 Kittiwakes were seen.

A small passage of Cormorants passing the island was noted with 14 seen rather than the usual one or two individuals. Shags amounted to 29, mostly seen on the rocks just off shore but others scattered around the coast. Possibly the same Grey Herons as the past few weeks, an adult and juvenile were present. Mallard numbers increased today, the usual female and her nine juveniles were all present and correct at the north end of the island but a further ten adults were seen just north of Solfach and the Narrows. Also seen were 59 Oystercatchers, one Ringed Plover, a Snipe, 14 Whimbrels, 45 Curlews, ten Redshanks and 21 Turnstones.

Green-veined White feeding around the Withies

Another Tree Pipit was heard today over Nant with its sharp buzzy "sphiz" flight call, Meadow Pipit and Linnet numbers rose today with a total of 93 Meadow Pipits and 232 Linnets seen, forming small flocks in amongst the short grassy fields. Other birds also put in a reasonable appearance with ten Pied Wagtails, 17 Stonechats and 12 Wheatears. Amongst the more densely vegetated areas of the island, around the gardens, withies and the mountainside a Whitethroat, six Blackcaps, two Chiffchaffs, 33 Willow Warblers, two Goldcrests, one new in at the Withies, an adult Spotted Flycatcher hanging around the Observatory garden were counted and two Little Owls perched in Nant Valley were also counted.

A good coverage of Greater Birdsfoot Trefoil across the island looking particularly stunning

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