Friday, 11 November 2016

Overnight winds had dropped considerably and during the early parts of the morning there was barely any wind to speak of. As this can be a rare occurrence during the winter months the opportunity was taken to open some of the mist nets around the Observatory garden in the hope of catching some migrants moving through the island. Although not many birds were trapped and ringed, over the course of a few hours the session wasn't without its highlights, one of the stars of the show being an absolutely stunning male Brambling closely followed by an equally gorgeous adult female Fieldfare, of which not many of this species are ringed on Bardsey. 

Brambling, one of the most stunning Autumn and Winter visitors to the UK
Very few Fieldfares are caught on Bardsey, this one found its way into a net in the Observatory garden
Slim spear shaped dark centres to the crown feathers indicating this individual is a female, males show much broader dark markings
Redwings are also extremely dapper
Whilst checking the nets and ringing birds passage overhead was evident, comprising mostly of finches and thrushes, ten Blackbirds, three Fieldfares, five Song Thrushes, 21 Redwings, 29 Chaffinches, two Bramblings, one Greenfinch, 16 Siskins and two Goldfinches were counted. The occasional Woodcocks are now being found around the gardens and plantations of trees, two were present in the Observatory garden and one at the Plantation today. A male Blackcap, Chiffchaff and three Goldcrests were the only warblers of the day, additional passerines included a Meadow Pipit, Blue Tit, 50 Starlings and a Reed Bunting. A couple of Water Rails squealed away to each other in the Withies, a Little Owl called on the mountainside and a SparrowhawkCommon Buzzard and 43 Curlews were extra sightings.

A flock of seven Teals traveled north up the West Coast eventually merging with a group of auks heading the same direction. A Gannet, 252 Razorbills, 16 Guillemots and small selection of gulls, 30 Black-headed Gulls, a Common Gull, eight Herring Gulls, a Greater Black-backed Gulls and 20 Kittiwakes made up the numbers off the coast.

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