Friday, 27 October 2017

Firecrest and Mistle Thrush, two of the highlights of ringing today

Today was another day with plenty of highlights and a strong passage of visible migrants. There were several unusual birds around today; for starters at six new Long-tailed Tits were trapped at the Obs, with two Hawfinches and a Yellow-browed Warbler at Nant. Two Lapland Buntings passed over the South End, while out to sea another Great Crested Grebe was the rarity of the day, and two Eiders are also a scarce and only just annual species here.

Finches were again a strong component of vis-mig, although in reduced numbers compared to yesterday, and amounted to 219 Chaffinches, 28 Bramblings, 28 Greenfinches, 54 Siskins, 46 Goldfinches, 34 Linnets, six Lesser Redpolls and four Reed Buntings. The other most numerous species overhead were 114 Meadow Pipits, 73 Skylarks, 49 Jackdaws and 767 Starlings, while a good variety of other species overhead included three Sparrowhawks, two Buzzards, three Merlins, two late Swallows, two Grey Wagtails, seven Pied Wagtails, eight alba Wagtails and four Rooks.

On the ground it was another excellent Thrush day, with 66 Redwings, 55 Song Thrushes, 47 Blackbirds and five Mistle Thrushes recorded. 57 Goldcrests and 40 Robins were the only other species present in large numbers, but a typical late October selection included four Water Rails, four Great Spotted Woodpeckers, ten Stonechats, a very late Willow Warbler, three Firecrests, five Coal Tits, a Great Tit and four Bullfinches. If you enjoy the admittedly rather niche pastime of "Bardsey October Listing" though, by far and away the highlght of the day was the first two Woodpigeons for the whole month! Where the otherwise ever-present Pigeons have been for the last 26 days is anybodys guess, but with thousands passing overhead elsewhere in Wales today, it seems a couple managed to trickle down the Lleyn!

Out to sea the most notable feature was again a strong passage of gulls, with 476 Kittiwakes, 250 Black-headed Gulls, 25 Mediterranean Gulls and 12 Common Gulls in the morning. Not much else was seen, but a Great Northern Diver, four Shelducks (which seem to be returning from their sojourn to Germany now), 12 Common Scoters, an Arctic Skua and 270 Razorbills also passed offshore. Meanwhile a small selection of waders included four Dunlins, the first seen on the deck here for quite a while, alongside six Purple Sandpipers, a Whimbrel and 40 Curlews on the Narrows, and a Snipe in the Wetlands. On the insect front, the first two Silver Y's for some time were in the Obs Garden.

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