Tuesday, 9 August 2016
Grey Seals were out in force today with 291 seen in total, 243 in Henllwyn, the main haul out on the island and 48 seen elsewhere around the coastline. A pair of Risso's Dolphins close in off the north end spent a few minutes traveling slowly through the Bardsey Sound.
The clear highlight of the day come in the form of a Little Ringed Plover which was found on Solfach in the morning. It then took flight and moved across the narrows heading south uttering its "pyu' flight call and disappeared out of sight. This is a fantastic sighting and is only the twelfth record of this species on the island since records began, the last record was a pair off the South End in May 2013. A Common Snipe was seen flying north through the centre of the island in the afternoon and a flurry of Godwits saw a Black-tailed Godwit pass north past the south hide, and six Bar-tailed Godwits off the West Coast. To add to the wader count for the day 31 Oystercatchers, four Ringed Plovers, seven Whimbrels, 39 Curlews, an increase of Redshank giving the highest count for weeks numbered 11, and a Common Sandpiper and 28 Turnstones were seen.
Another interesting sighting was a particular Mediterranean Gull, of which two were seen today, one of which was baring a metal ring on its leg. Unfortunately battling with the elements made it difficult to read the ring through a telescope so this birds origins and ringing details will remain a mystery. Adding further interest to the day were the sightings of a dark Arctic Skua and a Great Skua passing south from the north hide in the early hours and a scattering of Terns around the rocks just off the west coast including ten Sandwich Terns and two Arctic Terns. Good numbers of Manx Shearwaters and Gannets were again observed with 1,107 and 121 seen respectively, 13 Fulmar, seven Guillemots and 16 Razorbills added to the tally. A good gathering of gulls across the island was noted with 314 Herring Gulls, 46 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 29 Greater Black-backed Gulls, 387 Kittiwakes and 34 Black-headed Gulls.
A tatty Sparrowhawk soaring over the Plantation and a Kestrel hunting along the mountain side added a bit of variety with very few raptors seen over the past month or so. A Collard Dove hung around the Observatory before heading north up the island, and again a lone Swift passed over the island. A check of Swallow nests around the island to monitor the progress of the nests produced a mixture of eggs still being incubated and some small to large chicks, 43 Swallows and four House Martins were counted. A Tree Pipit, the first of the Autumn, buzzed over the farm and 11 Stonechats, 15 Wheatears, one Sedge Warbler, presumed migrant, skukled around the Lighthouse compound, two Blackcaps, two Chiffchaffs, 16 Willow Warblers, a Goldcrest, ten Mallards, a female with its nine juveniles and 158 Linnets were recorded.