Saturday, 6 August 2016

The most notable sighting of the day was an adult Cuckoo which swooped past the plantation in the early hours of the morning. Considering that most breeding Cuckoos are now hundreds of miles south migrating to tropical Africa to areas such as the Congo for the winter this sighting came as quite a surprise. Passage of Hirundines continued today with small numbers trickling through the island amounting to 94 Swallows and seven House Martins. A Grey Wagtail passed overhead and numbers of Phylloscopus Warblers continued to dwindle with only 16 Willow Warblers and a single Chiffchaff seen today. Two Goldcrests resided in the Plantation, one juvenile which was later trapped and ringed. Goldcrests have only just become established breeders on the island over the last few years, favouring the dense mature spruce trees at the Plantation. Other passerines seen today included 35 Meadow Pipits, 15 Rock Pipits, five Pied Wagtails, 11 Wheatears, three Stonechats, four Chaffinches, a single Goldfinch, 17 Wrens, one Dunnock, three Robins and 75 Linnets.

A Rook down on Solfach was the first of the Autumn with many expected over the coming months as they pass through the island. Other Corvids of the day amounted to ten Carrion Crows, three Choughs and a single Raven.

Terns featured again in small numbers off the coast where a single Arctic Tern and six Sandwich Terns were spotted. A couple of Fulmars drifted passed with 60 Manx Shearwaters, 11 Gannets and a Puffin. Whilst two Mediterranean Gulls, an adult and a juvenile, 247 Kittiwakes, 12 Black-headed Gulls, 37 Herring Gulls, 9 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and eight Greater Black-backed Gulls moved around the island.

Notable waders today were six Dunlins, two Whimbrels, 36 Curlews, five Redshanks, one Common Sandpiper and 35 Tunrstones scattered around the coast, beaches and bays.

Non avian highlights came on the form of three Common Dolphins spotted off the west coast, breaching the surface as they moved swiftly past. A Slow Worm and three Palmate Newts were also logged.

Moth trapping is proving productive as the dark nights roll in. Purple Bar in the upper right hand corner, True Lovers Knot, Dark Arches, Large Yellow Underings and a Common Rustic


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