Sunday, 4 June 2017

Another quiet day in paradise. The day's standout bird was an Arctic Tern off the North End, just the second off the year. Other notable sightings on the sea included 138 Gannets, continuing their good numbers, alongside 213 Manx Shearwaters, 191 Guillemots and 5 Common Scoter. A decent count of 37 Puffins was made at various locations, most if not all being breeding birds loafing offshore.
A Buzzard was the first seen in several weeks, soaring over the Mountainside early in the afternoon. On the Narrows just two Whimbrels and singles of Curlew and Dunlin were seen. The only new landbird arrival was a single Starling, while a Chiffchaff that arrived in the Withies yesterday was still present, alongside likely over-summering birds at the Plantation and Cristin. A singing Blackcap at Nant Withy was also likely to be over-summering.

A quick check of various barns and pig sties around the island found a brood of four Pied Wagtails, which were duly ringed. Several very young Swallow broods, and other nests with eggs, were also found, however, in lower numbers than would be expected. Hopefully this reflects a delayed breeding season rather than a worrying decline. A single juvenile Carrion Crow still in the nest at Cristin Withy was also ringed, one from that nest had also fledged a few days previously. Finally, we can also confirm that the Shelduck brood in Solfach is officially no more, like so many Bardsey broods before them they lasted only a few days, before the myriad predators took their toll.

An Azure Damselfly at Pwll Cain was seen again, with a handful of immigrant lepidoptera including two Red Admirals, a Painted Lady and a Rush Veneer. A Speckled Wood was at the Plantation, with the first Six-spot Burnet of the year on the wing nearby.
One of 115 Manx Shearwaters ringed on a recent night's work on the Mountain

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