Friday, 2 June 2017

June is typically a month of low migration with the odd rarity or, in prosaic times such as this, maybe just a couple of slightly out-of-place sightings. That was the case today, our two most unusual visitors being a first-summer Grey Plover arriving out of the fog and flying around the South End mid-afternoon, and a male Teal that made the Wetlands its home for the day. The typically modest routine migrant fare featured three Lesser Redpolls, two each of Goldfinch and Chiffchaff, and singles of Spotted Flycatcher, Willow Warbler and Blackcap. Another 57 Swallows moved South throughout the day, with 12 House Martins amongst them.

On the Narrows, there were five Turnstones, four Whimbrels, three Dunlins and singles of Ringed Plover and Curlew, alongside a single Black-headed Gull. Meanwhile, very little was to be seen out to sea, save for 912 Manx Shearwaters and 37 Gannets.

The futility of being a Shelduck on Bardsey was again highlighted today. Three fluffy little juveniles still present on the Narrows at 09:00 were down to just one nine hours later! Sadly, it seems like this will be yet another failed attempt to fledge young; with at least two nests also already being predated this year, it's really rather amazing we have any breeding Shelducks at all! Hopefully, the Peregrines will fare a little better; though just one pair is breeding this year, a check of the nest today confirmed two chicks were present, one of them large enough to be ringed. Also of note were our first Oystercatcher chicks of the year, with broods of three and two on the South End.

The rarest sighting of the day went to an Azure Damselfly found at Pwll Cain, there are only a handful of records of this species on the island, with Common Blue Damselfly being considerably more frequent. 13 Blue-tailed Damselflies was the highest count of the year so far. Lepidopteran interest was highlighted by 16 Painted Ladies, and singles of Silver Y and Hummingbird Hawk-moth as migrants, alongside the first Small Tortoiseshell to be seen in nearly a month. Green-veined Whites are an abundant but under-recorded species on the island, so the 74 seen today was a considerable increase, but reflective only of a sunny day and higher observer effort.

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