Thursday, 1 June 2017

Overall a very quiet day, but it was enlivened a bit late in the evening. with the discovery of our second Turtle Dove of the spring, on the track near Carreg Bach. The bird was sadly flushed by visitors and last seen heading over Pen Cristin. Otherwise, the most notable counts came from the sea, including a mighty impressive 200 Gannets, although with so many feeding offshore this may well be an underestimate. 678 Manx Shearwaters and 59 Kittiwakes were also seen, while 18 Common Scoters moved south early on.

There are still some hirundines on the move, a fairly steady southwards trickle of Swallows totalled 62, with 29 House Martins and just a single Sand Martin. A Kestrel over the Lowlands was also a migrant, and slightly unseasonal. On the Narrows just seven Dunlins, three Whimbrels and a Curlew were counted. Passerine migrants were very thin on the ground; Chiffchaffs amounted to three, and a singing Reed Warbler in Cristin Withy provided a bit of quality. Otherwise singles of Blackcap and Spotted Flycatcher were all that could be mustered up.

As we transition from spring to summer, and migrants are reduced to the smallest trickle, interest naturally moved to breeding birds and insects. The first brood of Shelducks hatched on May 30th, eight ducklings were in the Wetlands in the morning. However, the almost total failure of Shelducks to raise young in Bardsey is notorious; five remained a few hours later, having moved to Solfach (not the brightest move with hungry Seals in wait!). Yesterday four ducklings were counted, and today three. Will any survive this year?

Otherwise there were some sample counts of day-flying moths; Cydia ulicetana is abundant on the gorse in bardsey, with 250 counted at Pen Cristin. There were also ten of the coastal micro Lobesia littoralis around the East Side. Immigrants were represented by 17 Painted Ladies, three Silver Y's and a Hummingbird Hawk-moth, with a Speckled Wood at Nant also of note. Two Blue-tailed Damselflies were in the Wetlands, alongside a "Blue" Damselfly, most likely Common Blue although the similar (though much rarer on Bardsey) Azure Damselfly could not be eliminated on the brief views obtained.

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