Wednesday, 14 September 2016
Low-lying mist enveloped the island early on but it didn’t take long before it dissipated and left the island at its sun-drenched best. It soon became apparent there were plenty of new birds in and soon enough two Wrynecks were discovered at Nant. With people ensembled it soon became apparent there were actually Three (!) in the vicinity. If that wasn’t enough, shortly after an Ortolan Bunting was flushed out of the Cristin courtyards and landed on the Mountainside above Plas. Amazingly, our third record this year following an adult male in the Spring and a juvenile a few weeks ago. By midday the sun had begun to beat down in earnest but that didn’t stop another Wryneck being found halfway along the track between Cristin and the Limekiln. The bird went on to spend the afternoon between Gorse bushes and fence posts nearby. Last but not least, a juvenile Hobby powered northwards over Cristin Mountainside midday too, and in fact, the rarest bird of the day with only one other record this year so far.
One of the Wrynecks on show at Nant
A solitary Redwing at the Plantation was a bit of a shock, only a week or so later than the earliest ever recorded on the island. Visible Migration shows signs of increasing and today’s highlights include 16 Skylarks, 147 Swallows, three Tree Pipits, 133 Meadow Pipits, seven Grey Wagtails, and 26 White Wagtails. Both the Icterine Warbler at Nant and the Melodious Warbler at Cristin showed well again whilst an interesting ‘brown’ Lesser Whitethroat was glimpsed just south of the School House. The first Siskin of the autumn appeared at Nant with the Pied Flycatcher still present too, whilst further signs of passage include 35 Robins, 26 Stonechats, 11 Wheatears, one Song Thrush, one Reed Warbler, one Whitethroat, three Blackcaps, eight Chiffchaffs, five Willow Warblers, and 12 Goldcrests.
Icterine Warbler at Nant
A juvenile Pomarine Skua was easily the highlight from the sea today though 182 Herring Gulls heading south was notable. Waders amounted to five Ringed Plovers, one Purple Sandpiper, five Dunlins, ten Snipes, five Whimbrels, 52 Curlews, four Redshanks, and 56 Turnstones whilst two Water Rails were seen, one each in Ty Pellaf and Cristin Withy.
Even with all this aforementioned avian activity one of the biggest talking points of the day was the obvious Lepidoptera movement through the island. The bulk of which were Red Admirals with streams of butterflies heading south all over the island. The final count of 296 is a vast under-count of the numbers actually passing through today. Some impressive counts of other species were made comprising seven Large Whites, 66 Green-veined Whites, 34 Painted Lady’s, 35 Small Tortoiseshells, eight Speckled Woods, two Hummingbird Hawkmoths, 98 Silver Y’s, and three Vestals.