Saturday, 1 October 2016

It was a day of light north and north easterly winds, heavy drizzle in the morning which later cleared and very little in terms of sightings due to a lack of coverage rather than a real decrease in numbers.

The Blyth's Reed Warbler from yesterday was seen again at Nant, but was still not very showy. it was quite vocal at times. but kept in cover most of the time only showing occasionally.

A Short-eared Owl flying over Nant in the afternoon was certainly one of the highlights and we can expect to start finding more in the coming weeks as they stop over on the island. They can be found particularly amongst tussocks of grass in the wetlands and the dense bracken and gorse along the sides of the mountain. A pair of Lapland Buntings on the South End were also a great find, feeding with flocks of Meadow Pipits found in the area and proving to be fairly confiding birds, providing nice views. A Whinchat zipped between gorse bushes on the slopes of Pen Cristin whilst in the fields scattered around the island 129 Meadow Pipits, 14 Stonechats and three Wheatears could be seen. Rock Pipits amounted to 19 and small numbers of Wagtails were present including two flyover Grey Wagtails, nine Pied Wagtails and eight White Wagtails. Any visible migration overhead was almost non existent but a trickle of Skylarks numbering just three and 38 Swallows were recorded. Joining them above the island was an immature male Sparrowhawk, a Kestrel and Peregrine Falcon the later of which spent the day stooping and tussling with local corvids and anything crossing its territory. Below and amongst the vegetation on the island 34 Goldcrests busily fed amongst the Willows along with nine Chiffchaffs and a Willow Warbler. A small number of finches also resided here with three Chaffinches ,32 Goldfinches 160 Linnets and a single Lesser Redpoll. A Water Rail gave away its location squealing deep in cover and a Grey Heron, six Dunnocks, 27 Robins and six Blackbirds were also noted.

Common Snipes were the most notable wader of the day as five individuals were flushed from various parts of the island and a count around the Narrows at low tide produced very little with only nine Oystercatchers, five Curlews, three Redshanks and three Turnstones.

Lapland Bunting feeding amongst the Meadow Pipits on the South End

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