Friday, 5 August 2016

Calm and warm weather and a small arrival of new birds coupled with some visible migration made for a pleasant days census. Hirundines came through the island in small clusters throughout the day, with most of them heading in a southerly direction. Together with the resident population, Swallows numbered 86, seven House Martins were also intermingled in this movement. Willow Warblers again had a strong presence with 67 counted today and a handful trapped and ringed. Two Spotted Flycatchers were new in and spent the morning flycatching around the edges of the Plantation, whilst a single Goldfinch toured the north end, a Blackcap "tacked" deep within dense cover, a Chiffchaff and Goldcrest fed close by and a couple of Chaffinches moved from garden to garden. Some of the commoner and quite often overlooked birds were on show in fairly decent numbers around the island with six Robins, 29 Wrens, ten Blackbirds and six Pied Wagtails seen. Wheatears were scattered around and numberd seven, whilst Linnet numbers rose to 99. A Whitethroat skulked in the withies, a Sedge Warbler sang in one of the reedbeds, nine Stonechats and 39 Meadow and Rock Pipits were counted.

One of 67 Willow Warblers seen today
Adult Willow Warbler, yellow not so concentrated, forming more streak like yellow lines and mainly restricted to throat, upper breast and vent, more white
A good variety of species were seen around the coasts today, one of the highlights being a Little Egret which flew south along down the west side of the island and disappeared off the South End. A fantastic turn out of Common Sandpipers with 13 seen dotted around on various parts of the coastline, often buzzing off with their whirring flight and sweet "swee swee swee" call. Turnstones also were out in force with a high count of 66 around the Narrows, seven Ringed Plovers, six Whimbrel, two Curlews, four Redshanks and a fly over Dunlin made up the rest of the wader numbers today.

Counts from the sea were down on the last few days but still represented good numbers. Most notable were the passage of two Common Terns and a single juvenile Arctic Tern which settled on the rock just out from Solfach. Manx Shearwaters passed and 1,545 were seen, 21 Gannets, 13 Fulmars, two Common Scoters, 21 Shags, a Cormorant and a small passage of gulls ended the day with counts of 141 Herring Gulls, 36 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 25 Greater Black-backed Gulls, 19 Black-headed Gulls, 290 Kittiwakes, one Razorbill and one PuffinHarbour Porpoise were also spotted early on moving passed the island.

A nice variety of Butterflies were also present today. Green-veined Whites numbered 221 mostly through the grassy lowlands, two Large Whites, a Small Copper and two Common Blues, four Red Admirals, four Painted Ladies and 27 Meadow Browns were active throughout the island.

Over night 23 Storm Petrels were trapped and ringed around the Pen Cristin area, continuing and adding to a fantastic tally of this delightful seabird being ringed this season.

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