Friday, 1 September 2017

September began with another fine day's birding on Bardsey, as migration finally begins to gather some pace. As in most recent days, most movement was logged on land. Today's most numerous migrants were 270 Linnets and 206 Meadow Pipits, both showing obvious increases, and the highest count for either species this autumn. 83 White Wagtails also passed through the island, with 69 Goldcrests the best count of a good early autumn passage so far. Also recorded in excellent numbers today were 45 Grey Wagtails through overhead, our highest total so far this year. Overhead passage was well represented, with 235 Swallows, 85 House Martins and a single Sand Martin, 20 Alba Wagtails, six Tree Pipits and an excellent total of six Flava Wagtails, plus a single Yellow Wagtail seen on the ground. A warm and sunny afternoon encouraged a burst of raptor passage too, with three each of Buzzards, Sparrowhawks and Kestrels, two Peregrines and, best of all, two Hobbies passing south along the West Coast. Nine Ravens were again seen thermalling over the Mountain.

In the bushes, Warblers were low in numbers but in decent diversity, with 24 Willow Warblers, 14 Chiffchaffs, six Whitethroats, four Sedge Warblers, four Blackcaps and two Grasshopper Warblers. A single Firecrest also remained in the Plantation, with 12 Spotted Flycatchers, 21 Robins, 17 Wheatears and two Whinchats also logged. A Wryneck on the mountainside above Plas may have been yesterdays bird relocating, and was seen briefly but well by a couple of observers.

Manx Shearwater chick- Josie Hewitt

Waders were low in number but with quite a few interesting sightings amongst them. The only notable count was 19 Redshanks, with Oystercatchers and Curlews  numbering just 20 and 13 respectively; the latter species in particular seems to have passed its peak migration. The other regulars were represented by seven Ringed Plovers, six Turnstones, four Dunlins and four Whimbrels, while a single Common Sandpiper on Solfach was the first for over a week. Singles of Curlew Sandpiper and Greenshank also moved south through the island on a good day for wader diversity.

Seawatching was again quiet today, with 1169 Kittiwakes the only large count, however one of the highlights of the day was a first-winter Sabine's Gull in amongst them. Otherwise just 52 Gannets, 48 Razorbills and 43 Shags provided some noteworthy numbers. Other species logged were a paltry 16 Manx Shearwaters, plus 13 Black-headed Gulls, 11 Fulmars, six Sandwich terns, four Arctic Skuas and a single Common Gull.

Non-avian sightings of any note were quite few and far between. 25 Red Admirals and three Painted Ladies were the only real signs of immigration, while a season high of 10 Speckled Woods were recorded at Nant. Cetaceans recorded today were eight Risso's Dolphins and a single Harbour Porpoise.

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