Sunday, 14 August 2016

The highlight of the day, by far came during the evening hours as the sun was setting when a Minke Whale was spotted just off the coast, where it slowly headed north and eventually disappeared out of sight when it presumably dived down. Although the Minke Whale is the most common of the Baleen Whales through the Irish Sea and particularly further north in Scottish waters, sightings from Bardsey are few and far between. The last record was over three years ago. Good sightings of other cetaceans also present today were 15 Risso's Dolphins and four Harbour Porpoise also seen off the west.

Minke Whale surfacing off the West Coast. A long body surfacing with a small dorsal fin towards the back are typical diagnostic views
Good Willow Warbler passage was evident today with 110 seen in various locations throughout the island, the highest concentrations being around the Plantation where birds were observed passing through the gardens and vegetation. A Reed Warbler in one of the cottage gardens was the first of the autumn, as was a Garden Warbler further north at the Plantation where the Wood Warbler was again present for a third day. Other notables included a Tree Pipit around Nant, seven Sedge Warblers, two Whitethroats, three Blackcaps, seven Chiffchaffs, four Goldcrests, two Spotted Flycatchers and a Goldfinch. Wheatears, mostly around the southern parts of the island, showed a small increase with 21 seen. Meadow Pipits logged at 114 individuals scattered about in small flocks, ten Rock Pipits, eight Pied Wagtails and 143 Linnets were also present. A handful of Sand Martins passed over the Narrows and Pen Cristin, 68 Swallows, ten House Martins, one Sparrowhawk and two Kestrels were also logged during the course of the day.

A particularly pale looking, grey, Willow Warbler
A Greenshank again made an appearance around the Narrows, picked up on its distinctive call. Ringed Plovers made an appearance on Solfach numbering four. Oystercatchers totalled 31 and four Whimbrel, 26 Curlew, five Redshank, 26 Turnstones, 49 Shags, two Grey Herons and 22 Mallards resided.  

Notable sightings at sea concerned an Arctic Skua which spend the evening hassling Kittiwakes off the South End of which 959 were seen. A single Sandwich Tern just off the west side, five Razorbills, including one juvenile, a Puffin and a small passage of Cormorants, 11 seen today with various small groups high above the island moving through and 29 Shags. Further out 17 Fulmars, 1,050 Manx Shearwater and 25 Gannets passed.

 Curlew - the flock around the island's coast is slowly increasing in number with incoming migrants
 juvenile Herring Gull playing with some dried sheep poo
There have been some impressive gatherings of Kittiwakes in the last couple of weeks - in excess of 1000 birds in some cases! At least 15 colour-ringed birds from France have been sighted, and we'll post up the interesting stories behind these birds in the coming days

Lepidoptera and other sightings numbered three Large Whites, 205 Green-veined Whites, four Red Admirals, five Painted Lady's, one Small Tortoiseshell, 12 Peacocks, 22 Meadow Browns, 15 Silver Y's. A Migrant Hawker was also spotted around the farm.

Three species of Underwing, Lesser Yellow Underwing (top), Large Yellow Underwing (centre) and Least Yellow Underwing (bottom)

No comments:

Post a Comment