Monday, 8 August 2016

Generally it was business as usual but some numbers today suggested small movements of birds through the island today.

Wader numbers continued to drop with only six species recorded today. Oystercatchers were down to 28 today, whereas a few weeks back counts of over a hundred weren't out of the ordinary as there are plenty of breeding pairs occupying the island coastline. A couple of Ringed Plovers, six Whimbrels, 13 Curlews, two Redshanks and 14 Tunrstones were the only other additions.

It was much the same inland with very few new birds in but the odd increases showing a small passage of birds. A flock of Collard Doves sped south through the Lowlands, new in but didn't hang around and swiftly disappeared. A lone Swift headed north whilst 19 Pied Wagtails counted was a clear increase, with over double the amount seen in recent weeks. Wheatears mostly around the southern part of the island amounted to 17, Meadow Pipit and Rock Pipit numbers held fast with 54 and 16 respectively. These flocks are probably comprised mostly of the island breeding birds but migrant pipits are bound to be sneaking in amongst these numbers as hundreds are expected to migrate through the island. A group of six Ravens tussled and tumbled over the island above the mountain, a single Sedge Warbler sang in one of the small reed beds and two Blackcaps, one Chiffchaff, six Willow Warblers and 123 Linnets were also seen.

Gannets continued to be a presence at sea with 158 noted. A Great Skua hassled gulls off the West Coast where 14 Fulmars, 481 Manx Shearwaters, 23 Common Scoters, 373 Kittiwakes, a Mediterranean Gull, 12 Black-headed Gulls, three Sandwich Terns and singles of Guillemot and Puffin passed by.

Exciting late news came with the DNA results from a Siberian Lesser Whitethroat trapped in the observatory garden in May 2014. Confirmation of the bird to be of eastern origin and belonging to the subspecies Blythii, Sylvia Curruca Blythii, This was a first for Wales and the first UK spring record!

Siberian Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia Curruca Blythii

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