Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Summer is truly over by the time the first yellow Willow Warbler juvenile appears, and today marked that milestone this year! Three were seen in total in the Plantation, where a Goldcrest was also new in. Other passerine migrants today included 13 Starlings, two Siskins, two Grey Wagtails and a Lesser Redpoll, but the definite highlight was a stunning male Flavissima Yellow Wagtail, probably the same as the heard only "Flava" yesterday.

Overhead three Sand Martins and a single Swift moved south, and two early morning flocks of Curlews totalling 13 headed in the same direction. There were 22 of them in total today, with other waders making the roll call including eight Redshanks, four Common Sandpipers and two Whimbrels.

Out to sea 41 Common Scoters passed through late in the evening, when upwards of 4000 Manx Shearwaters were rafting off the South End. Three Black-headed Gulls headed south early in the morning, with three Harbour Porpoise also seen offshore. Another Gull starting to increase in number is Kittiwakes, with 297 counted today. This included exactly 100 roosting on the very tip of the South End at Maen Du, a regular late-summer loafing spot that has recorded counts of several thousand in recent years. It will be very interesting to see how numbers build up this year! This observer fancies a Ross's Gull snuck in amongst them too. The only other avian feature of note today was 41 Choughs, one of our highest counts of the year and presumably including some wandering from the mainland.

There was plenty to talk about amongst a good array of Moths and Butterflies seen too, with a definite increase in several immigrants. 28 Red Admirals, two Painted Ladies, 11 Silver Y's and a Hummingbird Hawk-moth were seen today. There were also good counts of resident lepidoptera, such as 177 Green-veined Whites, 155 Meadow Browns, 36 Six-spot Burnets, 29 Graylings and five Small Tortoiseshells. The most abundant micro moth on the wing in coastal areas currently is Pyrausta despicata, and a small sample count from the East Side revealed 375, with doubtless multitudes more actually present.

Ruby Tiger, among the highlights from the recent nights moth trapping

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