Saturday, 17 September 2016

Highlights on the Passerine front came in the form of a good arrival of Robins and Goldcrests, 53 and 41 respectively. A Wryneck, flushed from the mountain side above Nant, briefly perched before disappearing out of sight. Whether this is a lingering bird from previous days or a new arrival we will never know but this continued a fantastic run of sightings for this sometimes incredibly elusive species. A Whitethroat, Garden Warbler and two Spotted Flycatchers were new in and the first migrant Goldfinches, seven seen, passed overhead. Small numbers of Phylloscs were present with 18 Chiffchaffs and three Willow Warblers logged, Stonechats amounted to 20 individuals scattered about the island whilst three Sparrowhawks, two males and a female, a Common BuzzardWater Rail, two Little Owls, single Skylark, three Wheatear, eight Blackbirds, 14 Dunnocks, two Chaffinches and 290 Linnets were also present. Pipits and Wagtail numbers have been reasonably steady over the past couple of days but highlights today included three flyover Grey Wagtails and an excellent count of 38 White Wagtails around the narrows.

A Wryneck putting in an appearance near the Chapel at Nant
Rock Pipits gather in good numbers around the narrows, particularly on Solfach
Corvid numbers, specifically Carrion Crows are slowly increasing and we can expect numbers to rise further as the autumn progresses when mixed flocks of Corvids can be seen in their hundreds. Carrion Crows gathered mostly in the North West Fields and numbered 41, with them were a few of the 14 Magpies seen today as a noisy flock of 11 Choughs soared over the mountain with a pair of Ravens.

Wader numbers and species held steady and were similar to the previous day, although three Golden Plovers were an exciting addition for the day as the passed by the island. Solfach was resident to six Ringed Plovers, two Knot, nine Dunlins, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 24 Turnstones, 13 Oystercatchers, three Purple Sandpipers, two Whimbrels, 30 Curlews and eight Redshanks were close by.

Juvenile Ringed Plover, note the pale fringes to crown, mantle and wing feathers, creating a scalloped appearance

Turnstones continue to be present in decent numbers  
Very little was spotted off the coast, most notable being three Risso's Dolphins and a single Wigeon. Gannets amounted to 11, seven Cormorants headed south, and five Kittiwakes and two Razorbills  were the only other additions.

The calmer, warmer conditions helped to enticed out a few species of Lepidoptera today although counts were still fairly low in comparison to some days prior. Two Hummingbird Hawk Moths franticly fed around Nant, again another excellent tally of ten Speckled Woods and 15 Green-veined Whites, five Small Coppers, 11 Red Admirals, four Painted Lady's, 16 Small Tortoiseshells and ten Silver Y's put in an appearance.

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