Friday, 24 November 2017

Beautiful calm days can do sometimes occur during the winter months in amongst the storms!
Although the day was mostly quiet, synonymous with this time of year, there were highlights to enjoy. The standout was the appearance of a handsome drake Gadwall which settled in Henllwyn for an hour or so, before reappearing on Pwll Cain, the largest pond in the centre of the island. Although a somewhat common species on the mainland, this is only the 12th island record and the second to be recorded this year, the previous being a few weeks back. A distant diver heading out west, mostly likely a Red-throated Diver, a single Wigeon heading south along the West Coast, a handful of Auks and a small scattering of gulls including 62 Black-headed Gulls, two Common Gulls and 34 Kittiwakes were the only other notables out at sea today.

Drake Gadwall settled in Henllewyn, a rare occurrence on the island
As another calm day presented itself, nets again were able to be opened for a few hours in the morning in the Observatory garden, and although it was a particularly quiet ringing session with just a handful of birds ringed, these included a dapper Redwing and the long staying juvenile female Great Spotted Woodpecker re-trapped. This individual was first ringed on the 28th of September and since has been sighted sporadicly around the island. A few Thrushes were noted comprising mostly of ten Blackbirds, four Song thrushes and what was presumably the same Mistle Thrush which was heard and not seen on the mountainside. Amongst the common winter residents a couple of Goldcrests flitted in the damsons, small parties of Starlings passed through the Lowlands throughout the morning, settling on the Narrows to feed in a flock that eventually numbered 600 individuals, whilst nine Chaffinches and a Goldfinch passed overhead and four Raven squabbled high above the mountain.

A pleasure to see these birds up close from time to time, wonder if it will be joining us for the winter, watch this space......

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