Saturday, 8 April 2017

Another beautiful day on Bardsey today, with some much-appreciated sunshine. The skies were clear and the winds calm, which led to a clear out of migrants. Small numbers were still around, but not quite on the scale of yesterday.

Among the usual waders on the Narrows today were a Ringed Plover, the first of the year, and a Whimbrel. A Golden Plover heard over the North End this afternoon was also a first for the year. Out to sea today, the only bird of note was a Sandwich Tern which was seen feeding around the North-east side of the Mountain.

Small numbers of hirundines also trickled through with six Sand Martins, ten Swallows and two House Martins logged. Stonechats had like everything else also decreased in number and only 16 Wheatears were seen today.

Warblers were again present in the usual areas, Cristin, Nant, the Withies etc. with the highlight a singing Grasshopper Warbler on the Mountainside above Carregbach. Two Blackcaps, 12 Chiffchaffs, 39 Willow Warblers and three Goldcrests were also logged. Blue Tits seemed to have liked the weather today as well, as three were scattered around the island. A Siskin and Lesser Redpoll were also noted today.

figure 1

Blackcaps are a reasonably simple bird to age and sex. Figure 1 shows both a male and female, easily distinguished by their cap, which for females is a rusty-brown-red colour and for males a black. Note the remaining brown feathers on the cap of the male, from when it was a juvenile, after this summer when it has done its summer complete moult that won't be visible anymore which makes this last year's bird (2nd calendar year, euring age code 5)

figure 2

The most reliable way of ageing a Blackcap in spring, though not always possible, are it's tail feathers, on an immature bird the tail feathers will be pointed and partly worn depending on what it's done over the winter. Whereas, an adult will have rounded tail feathers. See figure 2.

No comments:

Post a Comment