Sunday, 21 August 2016

The right wind strengths, direction and correspondence with birds migrating can provide some great sea watching off Bardsey, and today was one of those days. A fantastic variety of species passing at sea started with the first two Sooty's Shearwaters of the Autumn, followed later in the afternoon by a third bird. The first Long-tailed Skua of the year also powered southward, along with four Arctic Skuas, a Storm Petrel, 135 Fulmars, 1736 Manx Shearwaters, 532 Gannets, nine Common Scoters, 3266 Kittiwakes, 23 Sandwich Terns, five Arctic Terns and three Puffins.

There was a good tally of waders, both from around the Narrows at high tide and also passing out to sea: eight Ringed Plovers, three Purple Sandpipers, nine Dunlins, a Ruff, five Whimbrels, 20 Curlews, eight Redshanks, two Common Sandpipers and 37 Turnstones were the final totals.

Away from the shoreline, the Long-eared Owl was once again happily sat on its stump in Cristin Withy, and later in the afternoon the bird was trapped and ringed. Migrants passing through and new on the ground included 30 Swallows, eight House Martins, eight Wheatears, one Sedge Warbler, one Lesser Whitethroat, two Blackcaps, two Chiffchaffs, 11 Willow Warblers, one Goldcrest and one Spotted Flycatchers.

 Dunlin (c) Ben Porter

Ringed Plover (c) Ben Porter 

Dunlin (c) Ben Porter

Turnstone (c) Ben Porter

Gannet (c) Ben Porter 

Kittiwake (c) Ben Porter

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