Tuesday, 5 September 2017

The 5th started raining, windy and generally rather unpleasant on Bardsey, with very little coverage of the island during the morning. However, by around 13:30 the weather had improved considerably, and when rain and fog turned to a calm, sunny afternoon it felt like something rare was there to be found! Sadly it didn't quite turn out to be, but a good spread of migrants were noted.

On land, the commonest migrants were 106 Linnets, 82 Meadow Pipits and 55 Goldcrests, while a decent selection of Warblers were noted. 42 Willow Warblers, 21 Chiffchaffs, six Blackcaps, three Whitethroats and two Sedge Warblers were seen, with the highlight a single Garden Warbler trapped in the Obs garden in the evening. 25 Robins, 12 Spotted Flycatchers and ten Wheatears were also grounded, with four White Wagtails on the Narrows, and the first Reed Bunting of the autumn at the Plantation. Overhead passage was limited to 104 Swallows and 53 House Martins. Two each of Kestrels and Sparrowhawks were again seen.

Out to sea the highlight was, unusually, an Osprey heading south at about 14:00, the second record of the autumn and the year. The heaviest day of Manx Shearwater passage in quite a while saw 1240 logged, alongside an excellent 392 Gannets, and 401 Kittiwakes. A few Skuas were seen, with two Pomarines, one Great Skua and one unidentified skua sp. heading south during the afternoon, while a little bit of gull passage saw 132 Herring Gulls and 38 Lesser Black-backed Gulls head south. Other sightings during the day included 19 Razorbills, four Guillemots, 17 Fulmars, four Sandwich Terns, four Common Scoters and the single Red-throated Diver lingering in Solfach.

Oystercatchers finally approached a respectable count again, with 65 presumably indicating a bit of passage. 20 Curlews and ten Redshanks were also seen, with the day's most notable wader sighting an adult Knot in Solfach. Seven Turnstones, five Ringed Plovers, four Whimbrels and two Dunlins made up the rest. 
Turnstones, Ephraim Perfect; Ephraims Bird Blog

Finally, an excellent day for Painted Ladies was had, with a minimum of 49 seen. A Small White, a very scarce species on the island nowadays, may well have also been an immigrant, as was a Migrant Hawker at Ty Pellaf. Also notable were four suspected Agonopterix subpropinquella's caught in light traps at Cristin and the Withies. They'll need to be sent off for confirmation but would, if confirmed, be the fourth to seventh records of this species for Bardsey, following three seen in 1998! 

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