Wednesday, 26 April 2017

A bit of an improvement on yesterday, with winds demoted from "arctic blast" to "brisk breeze" allowing a few birds to move through. Chief amongst these were 71 Wheatears, being particularly prevalent around the South End and the Narrows. 21 White Wagtails were also on Solfach, one of the best counts of the year so far.

Taking cover in any sheltered spot they could find were 39 Willow Warblers, 17 Chiffchaffs, seven Blackcaps, two Sedge Warblers, two Goldcrests and singles of Grasshopper Warbler and Whitethroat. A single Siskin and two Lesser Redpolls were in the Plantation, with three more Redpolls moving south. Also moving overhead were 31 Swallows and 4 House Martins. A few other bits of interest on land were two Collared Doves at Ty Nesaf, the Hooded Crow putting in a brief appearance at Pen Cristin, and our first sighting of a Starling in over two weeks! This species joins the ranks of several other common autumn migrants (such as Skylark, Grey Wagtail, Jackdaw and Black-headed Gull) which are considerably thinner on the ground in spring. Do migrants take a different route at this time of year, or do most just move through too early to be intercepted?

Very little moved out to sea, despite our hopes that the stormy conditions might displace a bird or two, but a decent selection of waders was to be found on the Narrows. Our good spring for Whimbrels continued with another 17 seen today, plus 22 Turnstones, nine Dunlins, two Redshanks and singles of Common Sandpiper and Curlew.

Our third Mallard brood of the spring was found on Nant Pond, while Shelducks have been bemusing us for some time! Nornmally notoriously poor at fledging young on Bardsey, they've perhaps been taking even more care than usual to pick the right spots this year, seen inspecting everywhere from the East Side (uncomfortably close to a Raven's nest, you'd think), to the tiny ponds in the Wetlands. But as yet none are on eggs, or even seem to have settled down in set territories. Several species are being rather more efficient though, Blackbirds have been seen with young, alongside Moorhens and Shags mentioned in previous posts, while several Carrion Crow pairs have been incubating for a while now.

Todays moth trap yielded just a single Hebrew Character, with just a few Green-veined Whites around on the Butterfly front.

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