Friday, 16 September 2016

A quick change in the weather saw the wind swinging round to a north westerly bringing with it a stiff cold breeze and an end to the high temperatures and calm winds of the past days.

Inland there wasn't much change, however a good selection of birds were on show. The Icterine Warbler was still present at the plantation, now into its sixth day on the island, the long staying Melodious Warbler also still resided in the Observatory Garden. Robins featured heavily again as a small passage continues, numbers amounted to 22 individuals today. A Whitethroat was seen in the Withies along with one of the two Spotted Flycatchers counted today, a single Blackcap, 13 Chiffchaffs, two Willow Warblers and 16 Goldcrests were also seen around the gardens, plantation and densely vegetated areas. Elsewhere on the island 15 Stonechats perched up on fence lines and 15 Wheatears dotted the fields and coast along with small flocks of Meadow Pipits, 89 today, 29 Rock Pipits, four Pied Wagtails, 19 White Wagtails and 24 Linnets. Very little was seen migrating overhead throughout the day except for 14 Swallow, 21 House Martins, two Grey Wagtails and seven Ravens. A Sparrowhawk was spotted in the Lowlands, presumably the same Common Buzzard was also present here, a Kestrel moved over the north end where a pair of Peregrines were also seen, two Little Owls called to each other and a Sklylark were the only other additions. 

One of two Spotted Flycatchers seen today
An excellent variety of waders were again on show today, continuing a good passage over the past few weeks. Solfach and the Narrow were particularly busy and where a large proportion of wader sightings today occurred. Oystercatchers fed on the short grassy fields and roosted on the low tide rocks, Ringed Plovers increased by a couple and now numbered 11, Dunlin numbers had also risen with 30 seen, a Golden Plover was seen on the South End, 68 Curlew, seven Redshanks, 49 Turnstones and singles of Purple Sandpiper, Common Snipe, Bar-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel and Common Sandpiper were logged.

Passage past the island was slow but steady and by the end of the day a nice assortment of species had been seen. A couple of species made up the bulk of the passage with 132 Gannets, 451 Razorbills and 16 Guillemots seen, most heading in a southerly direction. Small movements of ducks were seen as four Wigeon, a Teal and 21 Common Scoter passed. Fulmars and Manx Shearwaters trickled through in small numbers with 21 and 12 respectively, and two Arctic Skuas, six Great Skuas, an adult Mediterranean Gull, 346 Kittiwakes, two Arctic Terns and two Common Terns made up the numbers.

With the stronger and colder winds it wasn't a surprise that only a small numbers of Lepidoptera were seen on the island, but there were some interesting sightings none the less. Best of all was a fantastic count of 11 Speckled Woods seen around the Plantation, the highest count of the year and until this season not a regularly seen Butterfly on Bardsey. Red Admiral, Painted Lady and Small Tortoiseshell numbers had fallen after the high counts of the last couple of days but handfuls of each of these were seen today. A Hummingbird Hawk Moth fed around the Chapel garden with a Large White, three Green-veined Whites and two Silver Y's.

A Canary Shouldered Thorn from one of the moth traps

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