Tuesday, 25 July 2017

A warm, still and gorgeous day to be out was also a good one for birding. One of the most notable features was another strong "flying-ant day", which resulted in some excellent counts, such as 227 Swallows, 89 House Martins, 54 Swifts and 18 Sand Martins taking advantage of the bounty, alongside 400 Herring Gulls and six Black-headed Gulls. Seven species of Gull were noted today, including a season high of 1011 Kittiwakes (with 700 gathered on the South End rocks). Amongst the roosting Gulls on the South End was a single Common Gull, with an immature Meditrranean Gull briefly pitching in on Carreg yr Honwy, just the second record of the year.

A fair selection of birds were seen out to sea, including a minimum of 2341 Manx Shearwaters, 55 Gannets and 28 Puffins, and a few small groups of Common Scoter, totalling 21, were moving off the South End in the early hours. Two very close in Risso's Dolphins were the highlight of an early morning seawatch off the South End, with three Harbour Porpoises off the North End.

Curlew passage was again strong, with 51 noted today, and a good count of eight Whimbrels amongst them. The supporting cast of waders included six each of Redshanks and Turnstones, four Common Sandpipers, three Dunlins and a Ringed Plover.

Aside from the strong passage of Hirundines and Swifts, all that was seen overhead was a single Grey Wagtail heading south. Meanwhile, good selection of arriving birds were seen on the land, 42 Willow Warblers were present, with four Lesser Redpolls, three Spotted Flycatchers and a Whitethroat also new in. Quality came from a Cuckoo in the Withies and a Black Redstart seen at the Plantation by visiting birders, while the Kestrel from previous days also lingered.

Willow Warbler (www.mybirdblog.blogspot.co.uk)
A warm day resulted in some good butterfly counts, but little unusual. A scattering of 28 Red Admirals and four Silver Y's hinted at some migration, while 207 Green-veined Whites and 14 Peacocks were among strong showings for resident species. The Cristin moth trap was good for numbers, but with little unusual apart from the first Shoulder-striped Wainscot of the year.

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