Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Impressive gatherings of birds off the South End during the morning and some fantastic sightings off the other coasts brought the best highlights off island. Gulls streamed passed the south hide at times in almost uncountable numbers, the highest count of Black-headed Gulls since the 4th of November 2007 amounted to a staggering 9,746 individuals! Peppered amongst them were 96  Mediterranean Gulls, a Bardsey record, 2935 Kittiwakes, 150 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and the majority of the 592 Herring Gulls and 14 Greater Black-backed Gulls seen today. Fantastic records for the island came in the form of two adult female or immature Goldeneyes heading north quickly past the north hide and east through the Bardsey Sound and a drake Tufted Duck passed the South End. These constitute just the 27th and 30th records, respectively, of these species for the island, fantastic additions for the islands year list. Auks added to the masses as 2,169 Razorbills and 155 Guillemots were logged passing by whilst adding to the variety were an Arctic Skua, three Great Skuas, a Fulmar, Manx Shearwater, 51 Gannets and a movement of Shags as 31 passed the South End.

Inland there was a small movement of birds detected, mostly finches passing overhead and new birds inhabiting the gardens and vegetated areas. Chaffinches were the most numerous with 148 seen, three Brambling were also picked out amongst the small flocks. Bullfinches, a sometimes scarce bird for Bardsey were again logged in various locations during the morning, seven Siskins, eight Goldfinches, a Linnet and a Lesser Redpoll were other finches recorded. A pair of Yellow-browed Wablers were again present in the Withies and around the Plantation, the only other warblers on the island being a Blackcap, two Chiffchaffs, Willow Warbler and 23 Goldcrests. A pair of Black Redstarts continued to occupy the narrows, one individual showing down to a mere 3m at times!

Black Redstart flitting around the Boathouse on the Narrows

Any significant movement of thrushes has calmed in the previous days but new birds are still moving through the island, 21 Blackbirds and three Song Thrushes hid amongst the brambles and dense cover around the island as three Fieldfares and eight Redwings noisily called in the skies above. A Blue Tit in the Observatory garden, six Skylarks, 718 Starlings and three Reed Buntings were other notables. 

A trio of Lapwings graced the Narrows during the morning, their erratic, bouncy flight and strange alien like flight calls giving away their presence whilst 47 Oystercatchers, a Jack Snipe, six Common Snipes, a Whimbrel, 30 Curlews, 12 Redshanks and 28 Turnstones were scattered about the island.

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