Thursday, 5 October 2017

The north-westerlies today , following strong south-westerlies yesterday, delivered a much improved day for seawatching. Unsurprisingly, however, there was almost nothing of note on the land. We don't have fully complete log yet, but we'll update with complete totals tomorrow morning.
Out to sea, the daay's standout highlight was a Great Crested Grebe, just the 17th record for Bardsey in 65 years! The last sightings were in 2015. Grebes generally are very hard to come by here, with 19 Little Grebe records (the last in 2012), three each of Red-necked and Slavonian Grebe (last seen in 1997 and 1996 respectively) and Black-necked Grebe probably one of the most glaring omissions from the observatory list.

Other highlights of a fine day included a Black Tern, a Sabine's Gull, a Little Gull and two Ruff off the West Coast, and sightings of Long-tailed Skua and Pale-bellied Brent Goose off the South End. Other Skuas were moving in force, with 27 Arctic Skuas, seven Great Skuas and three Pomarine Skuas. Large passages of several species were logged, including 3664 Kittiwakes, 1455 Razorbills and 470 Gannets, while gulls on the move included 64 Black-headed Gulls, 13 Mediterranean Gulls and two Common Gulls. The rest of a fine days role-call included three Sandwich Terns, seven Guillemots, one Puffin (a late records), six Common Scoters, a Teal and a Great Northern Diver; and three each of Redshank and Turnstone heading west off the South End.

On land there had also been a noticeable increase in Redshanks, numbering 18 today. Other waders of note were a Golden Plover on the South End, a Snipe in the North-west Fields, and 25 Turnstones, two Sanderlings and three Whimbrels on the Narrows. There were  few arrivals on land, although Skylarks numbered a good 34, with five Wheatear, three Swallows, one Grey Wagtail, one Song Thrush, one Buzzard and three Merlins were all new in. Otherwise a Water Rail was again heard in the Withies, two Blue Tits remained at Ty Nesaf and just 32 Goldcrests were to be seen today.

Skylark, Ephraim Perfect; Ephraim's Bird Blog

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