Thursday, 10 November 2016

A late Manx Shearwater off the South End wasn't the latest record on Bardsey but was a nice surprise as it sheared through the swell at close range, additionally a Great Skua and adult Little Gull followed closely as highlights off the south tip. A handful of Gannets also swooped passed as 43 Guillemots and 90 Razorbills whirred past in small groups below. Gulls padded out the numbers out at sea with 120 Black-headed Gulls, two Common Gulls, 83 Herring Gulls, four Greater Black-backed Gulls and 280 Kittiwakes.

A Merlin and Fieldfare were part of a dramatic chase around the Narrows and South End. first thing as the Fieldfare, presumably a tired new migrant fresh in, settled briefly on the rocks around the Narrows. Soon after it was spotted by an eagle eyed Merlin which immediately gave chase. The pair twisted and turned low around the bays ending in the gorse on the South End where both disappeared out of sight, the outcome of the chase unfortunately, or fortunately, was inconclusive. Choughs have now moved to regularly occupying the Narrows and in particular the beach, Solfach, where they pick through the sands and seaweed. Rock Pipits dotted the coast lines with 11 recorded mostly round the southern part of the island, two Meadow Pipits were also close by and very little other passerines were noted, a Stonechat, four Blackbirds, three Goldcrests, a Blue Tit, three Chaffinches, eight Starling, and a Goldfinch being the highlights.

Last winter a Whimbrel over wintered and was one of very few choosing to do so in the UK, one was present on the South End today so a close eye will be kept on any seen in the coming weeks to see if an individual will again winter on Bardsey. Reasonable counts of other waders were present with 33 Curlews, nine Redshanks, 25 Turnstones and 44 Oystercatchers recorded.

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