Saturday, 24 September 2016

As the strong southerly winds continued huge waves and swell battered the island making for some fantastic sights but ground much migration to a hault on the island

Most productive passage unsurprisingly was out at sea where decent numbers were seen. Razorbills passed in small clusters all day, unconcerned by the raging storm 2,061 headed south during the course of the day. The first Red-throated Diver of the Autumn was spotted off the North End, whilst three Fulmars, 36 Manx Shearwaters, 152 Gannets, two Guillemots, seven Common Scoters and an Arctic Skua were recorded. Although not numerous, a nice variety of Gulls were also seen today, an adult Mediterranean Gull headed through the Bardsey Sound, four Black-headed Gulls, a single Common Gull off the South end, three Lesser Black-backed Gulls, three Herring Gulls, three Greater Black-backed Gulls and 592 Kittiwakes. Remarkably two Risso's Dolphins were also picked out amongst the rolling troughs and peaks.

Ringed Plovers on Solfach had increased with ten now darting about amongst the seaweed. Numbers of Dunlins seen today was also up on the previous days, 33 were logged, individuals passing south off the coast and feeding along Bardsey's shores. A single Bar-tailed Godwit was also present, possibly the same individual lingering, seven Purple Sandpipers huddled amongst their favoured rocks just south of Solfach and 43 Oystercatchers, one Whimbrel, 55 Curlews, 11 Redshanks and 57 Tunrstones were also noted.

Turnstones battling the elements

Inland there was very little change or movement noted as the wind whipped through the island. A couple of Skylarks were new in however and resided in the North West Fields and South End and 14 Swallows struggled into the wind heading south. Probably due to the strong winds, high counts of some species, in particular Robins and Goldcrests, had dropped dramatically with only eight and 12 recorded respectively. The only other notables included three Grey Herons, two Wheatears, two Chiffchaffs and 150 Linnets.

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