Tuesday, 28 March 2017

It was a much windier, drearier and colder day than we've had for some time, with the result being a far quieter day for migration. The days two minor rarities were both, unusually, Geese! A Dark-bellied Brent Goose  spent much of the day on Solfach and the West Coast, and a Greylag Goose flew North up the West Coast mid-morning. There are approximately 50 records of both species for Bardsey prior to this. Two Red-throated Divers, one in breeding plumage, were also loafinh off the West Coast in the morning, with three Purple Sandpipers on Solfach the only other coastal sighting of note.

In the bushes there had been an obvious clearout, with 30 Chiffchaffs and 28 Goldcrests remaining, the majority around Nant Plantation. Three Blackcaps, three Siskins, two Starlings and a Willow Warbler were also seen at Nant, six Wheatears were dotted across the island, while a Reed Bunting called twice as it headed North over the Obs mid-afternoon.

There were 180 Meadow Pipits, an average count compared to recent days, but Linnets were in good number with 87 counted, mostly feeding on game cover in the North-west Fields. A single Jackdaw remained, hanging out with the Carrion Crows around Nant and the Lowlands, while 14 Snipes were flushed up from the Wetlands, as we get a second wave of this inconspicuous migrant (numbers dropped considerably after about the 17th). two White Wagtails were among a good number of Pied Wagtails on Solfach, with 21 counted on the island as a whole. The wintering Merlin remained, and at least 20 Manx Shearwater could be heard uttering their weird and wonderful calls on a night walk from Solfach to Cristin.

Some ringing was conducted during the calmer periods of the morning. Little of note was seen, but a Goldcrest trapped at Cristin with a ring on its leg proved to be a recapture from September! It continued to be caught up until October 30th, with this being the first sighting since then, and it seems likely to have overwintered on the Island.

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