Friday, 21 October 2016

Although plenty of common migrants kept the day fresh and exciting the star of the show was a showy Barred Warbler discovered in Ty Capel garden, strangely an area that seems to be attractive to Barred Warblers and where a fair few records of this species have been. The last record of this species on the island was during the 2014 season.

Barred Warbler
Often quite a skulky species, this individual happily fed and gave great views
A pair of new Yellow-browed Warblers were new in and were trapped and ringed during the morning, one occurring at the Plantation, one in the Observatory Garden. A late Garden Warbler was at Nant amongst other warblers counted today that included four Chiffchaffs, a long staying Willow Warbler in the Withies and 47 Goldcrests. With no breeding tit species on the island this season two Blue Tits were obvious migrants new in, one was trapped and ringed on its right leg at the Plantation, later a second bird was discovered in the Observatory garden with a ring on its left leg! Being the only Blue Tit ringed this autumn this other bird was clearly a "control" bird, a bird ringed elsewhere, using Bardsey as a stop over on migration. Overhead 149 Skylarks moved through, as did a Swallow and good numbers of finches amounting to 60 Chaffinches, 13 Brambling, eight Greenfinches, 12 Siskins, 19 Goldfinches, 14 Linnets and three Lesser Repolls. Other passerines of note included 18 Dunnocks, an excellent count of 53 Robins, eight Stonechats, a single Wheatear, 138 Starlings and four Reed Buntings

Four stunning Bramblings caught during a ringing session in the Observatory garden
A decent arrival of Blackbirds totalled 51 by the end of the day whilst other thrushes were not so numerous but new migrants passed through the island, ten Fieldfare, 22 Song Thrushes, 36 Redwings, and a Mistle Thrush were logged. Corvids were present in reasonable numbers and variety, 14 Magpies, 14 Choughs, 52 Jackdaws, 37 Rooks, 18 Carrion Crows and two Ravens were the final counts. Meanwhile a male and female Sparrowhawk hunted around Nant, a Common Buzzard soared over the mountain ridge and a Kestrel and two Merlins were seen. 

A juvenile Sabines Gull was the pick of the bunch off the coast with very little other migration visible. It moved north off the West Coast where two Mediterranean Gulls, 172 Black-headed Gulls, 27 Common Gulls, 49 Herring Gulls, six Greater Black-backed Gulls and 156 Kittiwakes were other gulls spotted. Gannets trickled passed with 15 counted, two Common Scoters and 97 Razorbills were the only other real movements. Non avian highlights however included seven Risso's Dolphins, one of them a calf, and two Harbour Porpoise.

Good Redshank numbers continued as 20 individuals were present around the Narrows along wth a Ringed Plover, a Whimbrel, 41 Curlews, 23 Turnstones and 48 Oystercatchers. Elsewhere a Jack Snipe and eight Common Snipes hid amongst the tussocks of grass through the Wetlands and Lowlands.

A couple of Small Coppers were seen on the mountainside, two Red Admirals a Silver Y and four Diamond Back Moths were the Lepidoptera present today.

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