Saturday, 2 December 2017

Wildfowl was again the surprise standout from todays censusing, most notable was a fine drake Velvet Scoter heading west through the Bardsey Sound and out into the Irish Sea, possibly even more bizarre was a small passage of Teals, two small flocks numbering 37 in total, flew out west in much the same manor as the Velvet Scoter. This is just the 18th record of this species for the island, the last seen in 2014 when some individuals flew down the West Coast. The drake Gadwall was again present along the West Coast hiding out with 16 Mallards, whilst a pair of Shelducks resided around the Narrows. Also noted off the coasts were two Red-throated Divers, a Gannet, seven Common Scoter, 65 Guillemots, 24 Razorbills, 10 Auk sp, a first winter Mediterranean Gull, 69 Black-headed Gulls a Common Gull and 26 Kittiwakes.

Above the island a Common Buzzard tussled with resident Peregrine Falcon and corvids, a small drop in thrush numbers over previous days left totals at a respectable 18 Blackbirds, six Song Thrushes and two Redwings. A Little Owl called from the mountainside and a Stonechat, three Goldcrests, three Chaffinches, a Siskin and Goldfinch were also recorded inland, whilst around the rocky coastlines 31 Oystercatchers, a Whimbrel, 22 Curlews, six Redshanks and five Turnstones were waders seen

Water Rails are known for their abilities to be extremely elusive. On Bardsey especially, most of the time the only giveaway to their presence comes from calling birds as they squeal amongst dense cover. The previous day one had been sighted sneaking amongst the vegetation in Nant Withy, with prints in the mud nearby also noted. A camera trap was placed nearby to try and capture some footage of this fantastic species, that evening the Water Rail made an appearance and hopefully will continue to do so over coming days with this trap remaining in place to produce further clips of its secretive behaviour.

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