Thursday, 4 August 2016

A quick turn around on Solfach and the narrows on the wader front with numbers decreasing significantly compared to previous days. However 53 Oystercatchers, 21 Turnstones, two Whimbrel, a Curlew and a Redshank were seen.

A male Sparrowhawk, the first seen for a while, moved through the gorse on the side of the mountain continually being harassed by the local Pipits. A pair of Sparrowhawks attempted breeding amongst the Spruce trees that make up the bulk of the trees at the Plantation, successfully incubate eggs until one had hatched but then unfortunately failed and the nest was abandoned. Hopefully they will return next season and try again. A Little Owl perched in Nant Valley, just below the Plantation, where they are suspected to have bred, five Chiffchaffs, the bulk of the ten Willow Warblers seen today, a Goldcrest, a couple of Chaffinches  and the female Mallard and her nine ducklings snuck around the Nant area. 

Meadow Pipits and Rock Pipits numbered 34 and 22 respectively, 82 Linnets, eight Stonechats, three Wheatear, a Sedge Warbler, a Blackcap and Grey Heron were also dotted around the island.

Each year a select few Manx Shearwater burrows are monitored as part of ongoing studies on the island. The burrows, and their contents are followed from the incubation stage through to an end result, whether its a failure or success. Now, quite a way through the breeding process of the Manx Shearwater, checks of the burrows are made to find out how the contents have progressed. If a chick is  present at the nest the bird is removed briefly, a ring placed on its leg and biometrics taken, before being placed back into the burrow. A check of all the burrows again is conducted later on to determine whether the chicks have managed to fledge.

A particularly fluffy individual
BTO ring carefully attached to fit the elliptical shape of the legs

Waiting patiently whilst being weighed
Moving out at sea were 415 Manx Shearwaters, 16 Gannets, 26 Kittiwakes, four Guillemots and four Razorbills.

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