Tuesday, 4 April 2017

After a cold start, with strong north-westerly gusts, the afternoon was altogether more agreeable, warm and sunny although still quite windy. It was once again a quiet day for birding though. Nothing of note was seen out to sea, while on land numbers and diversity were again modest. Willow Warblers had arrived in decent numbers overnight, 26 being our highest count of the year so far. 16 Chiffchaffs, 11 Goldcrests and four Blackcaps completed the Warbler tally, but surely it can't be long now before the likes of Whitethroat and Sedge Warbler are back! 86 Linnets, 19 Pied Wagtails and 13 Wheatears likely included a mix of migrants and breeding birds, three White Wagtails on Solfach are undoubtedly heading further north to breed. 16 Swallows moved through, mostly in the afternoon, but no other Hirundines were part of the movement.

Otherwise, it was a case of as you were. The Merlin shows no desire to depart quite yet, nor our resident 1st-summer Grey Heron. 104 Oystercatchers, 16 Turnstones, 10 Redshanks and a Whimbrel were all similar counts to recent days, though four Snipe flushed from the Wetlands were probably migrants. Signs of Spring were easier to detect among the islands breeding birds, as Wheatears were seen taking nest material to line their burrows, Little Owls are becoming increasingly vocal diurnally, and a Manx Shearwater was found in a Burrow on Pen Cristin. In addition, insects were far more plentiful in the sunny afternoon than they have been on most recent days; four species of Bumblebee included our first Red-tailed Bumblebees (Bombus lapidarius) of the year, both Peacock and Red Admiral were on the wing at Cristin, and also here were two Black Snipeflies (Chrysophilus cristatus). Two species of Hoverfly were also noted, Eristalis tenax (commonly known as Drone Fly) and Eristalis intricarius, the latter an elegant Bumblebee mimic.

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