Friday, 4 November 2016

Winds had started to swing towards the North and West bringing a chilling feel to the day where a pair of Siberian Chiffchaffs and a Yellow-browed Warbler in the Withies were the clear highlights. It has been a particularly good Autumn on Bardsey for Siberian Chiffchaff which can occur during the Autumn but this season has been exceptional in comparison.

A nice comparison between two Siberian Chiffchaffs showing much variation in plumage tones
A Bullfinch was heard calling around the Plantation, of which there have been a few records of late, a Blackcap resided in the Observatory garden and two Chiffchaffs, 14 Goldcrest and small numbers of thrushes including 14 Blackbirds and a Song Thrush were noted. Very little visible migration took place with only the odd birds overhead, Starlings moved in small flocks, the grand total amounting to 260, two Skylarks also passed over whilst a Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard, Kestrel, two Merlins, a Peregrine, six Goldfinches, two Linnets and four Ravens  also graced the skies.

A pair of Purple Sandpipers were spotted amongst the rocks around the Narrows where 23 Oystercatchers, a Whimbrel, 40 Curlews, six Redshanks and 20 Turnstones also resided. Through the Wetlands and around Pwll Cain, the largest of the ponds on the island, two Jack Snipes and two Common Snipes were found

Auks over the past weeks have moved in good numbers, in particular Razorbills but more Guillemots are starting to be recorded now, as mixed flocks pass the island in mostly a southerly direction, 1,149 and 113 were logged respectively. A good variety of gulls species are still being recorded off the coast although numbers have decreased dramatically in comparison to prior counts. a handful of Mediterranean Gulls, mostly adult birds, intermingled with with the larger gatherings of  381 Black-headed Gulls, 309 Kittiwakes. Common Gulls were also present with six seen, and a Lesser Black-backed Gull, 74 Herring Gulls, six Greater Black-backed Gulls and five Gannets were other additions.

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