Saturday, 8 July 2017

Another good day to be out, as autumn slowly gathers pace. Birdwise the two highlights were in the withies, with another Great Spotted Woodpecker, this one a juvenile (yesterday's was an adult male). A juvenile Grasshopper Warbler was one of the first returning warblers of the autumn, while a Blackcap in Ty Pellaf Withy was probably also an early migrant. Also of note were a Goldcrest in the Obs garden, a roaming Lesser Redpoll, a single Collared Dove and a small increase to 26 Starlings.

It was again a fairly modest day for waders, with 24 Curlews, an increase to four Common Sandpipers, and two apiece of Whimbrel and Redshank. Very little of note was seen out to sea. In the early hours, we caught five Storm-petrels at Pen Cristin; four new and one retrap. Meanwhile, in the afternoon a visit to two of the Kittiwake subcolonies on the East Side, with unfortunately not good news. Of 12 pairs that nested in Tornado Ledge, just five young in three nests were seen, while 13 young in 10 nests were found, out of the 54 pairs that attempted to breed here. While four fledged young were also seen from the boat yesterday, this appear to represent another very poor year for a species doing disastrously across much of Northern Europe.

Puffins among the thrift on the East Side (

On a happier note, it was a fine day for insects, with the highlight being a Dark Green Fritiarya less than annual species here. Some excellent sample counts from the lowlands and wetlands included 243 Green-veined Whites, 136 Meadow Browns, 81 Six-spot Burnets, 40 Garden Bumblebees and 16 Silver Y's, although the real totals across the island must be considerably higher. 14 Graylings around the East Side was the highest count of the year so far. The moth trap was lower on numbers than recent days, but had two fine highlights in a Buff Arches (single figure records for Bardsey, all in the last three years) and a Heart and Club, (probably only the 15th or 16th for the island). Buff ErmineLackeyGarden Tiger and Dark Arches were again the commonest species.

Close-up of a Garden Tiger's fore and underwing (

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