Thursday, 6 October 2016

Easterly winds continue to surge against the island, making viewing conditions challenging. However, a build-up of high pressure over Siberia and Scandinavia mean the winds are pushing through into Britain and Europe and bringing with them an array of Siberian birds. Here on Bardsey we are beginning to feel the effects of this great event, which are hopefully signs of things to come. Two new Yellow-browed Warblers were discovered today, sheltering in the Lighthouse Compound and Plas Withy respectively. Whilst a Siberian Chiffchaff was found at Nant in the gardens, feeding and showing with its more “common” counterpart Common Chiffchaff. With the favourable winds, thrushes are beginning to move through as well with one Ring Ouzel, 11 Song Thrushes and three Redwing seen on the island.

Other highlights of the day concerned birds of prey. In the morning a Short-eared Owl was flushed from the Wetlands and was seen briefly perched on the fence-line at Plas Withy. An Osprey was seen flying over the farm in the afternoon, slowly drifting making its way past, to the South End. This made up the 7th record this year, just one shy of the record in 2008 when an incredible 8 birds where seen in one year!

Seawatching today produced an interesting variety of species with six Wigeons, 59 Common Scoters, six Mediterranean Gulls, 68 Common Gulls, one Guillemot and 267 Razorbills seen. Also of note on the wildfowl side of things were six Teal and more impressively two female Pintail, which were quite an island rarity!

Some waders are still lingering around the island, one Lapwing was still present on the South End, eight Snipes were seen in the wetlands and lowlands, showing signs of a build-up in numbers. One Whimbrel, three Redshanks, one Dunlin and 13 Turnstones were also of note. Various other migrants continue to pass through, including: two Merlins, two Water Rails, two Flava Wagtails, a Grey Wagtail, eight Blackcaps, nine Chiffchaffs, two Willow Warblers, 34 Goldcrests, one Siskin and one Lapland Bunting.

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