Thursday, 31 August 2017

A fine selection of grounded migrants was noted on the final day of August, while numbers were generally unspectacular there was an excellent diversity of species recorded. The three commonest migrants tallied were 143 Linnets, 140 Meadow Pipits and 100 White Wagtails, with 71 alba Wagtails also seen. In the trees and scrub there had been arrivals of 64 Goldcrests, 45 Willow Warblers, 34 Chiffchaffs and 25 Robins, with an entertaining mix of other species highlighted by an elusive Wryneck around the Obs garden. Nine Whitethroats, nine Blackcaps, four Sedge Warblers and a single Grasshopper Warbler were the best of the Warblers on offer, while 18 Wheatears, four Spotted Flycatchers and singles of Firecrest and Whinchat, the latter the first of the autumn, were also logged. Also of note, and quite possibly indicative of arrivals of both species, were counts of 22 Stonechats and 17 Dunnocks, though both totals are within the margin where very thorough recording of the islands resident birds could account for them.
juvenile Wheatear, Ben Porter;

Overhead it was also pretty busy, with 171 Swallows, 63 House Martins, 14 Grey Wagtails, five Tree Pipits and a single Sand Martin moving through. Clear skies encouraged a good selection of raptors to be recorded today, with three each of Sparrowhawk, Kestrel and Peregrine and singles of Merlin and Buzzard.

The sea recieved limited attention today, but enough to reveal that little was on the move. Five Arctic Skuas south were probably the highlight, while 36 Common Scoters south was also our best passage for a few weeks. Otherwise modest totals of 106 Manx Shearwaters, 56 Gannets, 32 Shags, 28 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 18 Fulmars, ten Razorbills, two Sandwich and one Arctic Tern and a single Black-headed Gull were logged, while four Risso's Dolphins was the only cetacean sighting.

Some of the classic lepidopteran migrants also had a good day, with 30 Red Admirals, 13 Painted Ladies, three Silver Y's and a Hummingbird Hawk-moth on the wing. The moth trap was very quiet apart from a Delicate, the eighth record for Bardsey and first since 2014. Seven Speckled Woods was the highest count of the year, including one at the Obs, away from the main colony at Nant.

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