Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Strong south westerlies battered the island throughout the day making census difficult when looking for passerines inland but great for pushing birds out at sea closer to the island. Being the most numerous breeding bird on the island, by quite a few thousand, its not surprising that counts of Manx Shearwaters can be extremely high at times. Today continued the run of good numbers of this species off the coasts with 5,016 seen cruising passed over the rough seas. Gannets also featured heavily today with 123 seen, some presumably from the nearest breeding colony, Grassholm off the coast of Pembrookshire, which hosts some 39, 000 pairs of Gannets and is the third largest colony in the UK. Other sightings weren't so numerous but amounted to 15 Commom Scoter, 106 Kittiwakes, five Puffins, one Guillemot and one Razorbill.

Solfach was busy again today and held an impressive 50 Turnstones, six Ringed Plovers, two Dunlins, a Sanderling, two Black-headed Gulls and five Mallards. The Curlew flock, numbering 16 were feeding around the south end. A total of 57 Oystercatchers and three Whimbrel were additional waders seen today.

Manx Shearwaters chicks around the island are now fairly sizeable, a lot of them now weighing around 600g, almost double the weight of the adults! In a few weeks time the parents will abandon their young and start their migration southwards, eventually ending up off the eastern coasts of South America. The young birds, still in their burrows, will then live off their enormous stores of fat, slim down and grow their sleek feathers before leaving the nest and heading out into the open Atlantic ocean.

Aside from eight Willow Warblers, of which numbers have been slowly decreasing over the past few days, it was generally just the odd resident birds on show today. Linnets amounted to 51, 17 Swallows, 21 Meadow Pipits, eight Rock Pipits and six Pied Wagtails, one carrying food for a new brood somewhere around the narrows. Four Stonechats lined the fences and a single Wheatear and Goldcrest were also present. Choughs played in the skies and five Raven croaked over the island.

No comments:

Post a Comment